Teaching 21st-century skills takes learning systems out of the isolated classroom and into the real world. In one project at Horace Mann Middle School in Charleston, West Virginia, students are engaged in an elaborate community learning system. They are working to create formal plans to renovate the front grounds of the school for its 70th anniversary.
The middle school students will use their math skills to calculate areas and revise their budgets. From all available sources (except their teacher), they will gather information about the school and about landscaping from business officials, relatives, school alumni, and online research.
It’s the kind of project that opens students’ eyes to systems and topics that they normally don’t think about while giving them a chance to sharpen their math and reasoning skills. Online learning systems and collaborative tools like LMSs can be combined with face-to-face group work to enrich student experience and develop IT skills.
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