Critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity—these are the “Four Cs” that P21 has identified as critical skills for 21st century learning. As educators rethink their lesson plans to cater to these skills, one focus area that could help is AV and media skills.

In addition to facilitating learning in multiple subjects, media projects, presentations and online communications advance the uptake of all Four Cs of 21st century learning. Without a crystal ball that tells us exactly what skills our students will need in the future job market, AV projects are a great place to begin preparing students.

Teachers can leverage classroom technology such as projectors, headsets, audio systems and more to prepare students. Here are a handful of ways teachers can make the most out of AV tools for 21st century learning.

1. Group presentations

Group work is not a new concept for classrooms. However, with the affordances of today’s technology, students can expand collaborative projects outside of school walls. With live-edit platforms such as Google Slides, students are able to collaborate both in-person and virtually. Students can even work together online to record separate parts of a presentation.

Group presentations inherently foster collaboration skills, but taking the development of group presentations to an online space creates even more potential for 21st century learning. As organizations, associations and companies continue to work on a global scale, an increasing amount of collaboration is taking place online. With more experience in developing group presentations, students will be prepared to work with people who aren’t in their local vicinity to create deliverables.

2. Report building 

There are myriad ways to include critical thinking in classroom activities. For example, in nearly any subject, students can practice critical thinking by developing a report of their thought process in a problem-solving activity.

PowerPoints, Prezis, videos, infographics and more can be used to demonstrate the process of critical thinking. These media projects enable students to outline the reasoning and analysis that went into solving a problem, such as how to improve a city’s parks. Projects that rely on media to demonstrate critical thinking both facilitate students’ technology skills, and prepare them to clearly communicate the value of a program or solution being used in the workplace.

(Next page: 3 more ways AV can prepare students for jobs)


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