A Collaborative Skills Training Program Utilizing Information and Communications Technology for 21st-Century Children

A Collaborative Skills Training Program Utilizing Information and Communications Technology for 21st-Century Children

Nagayuki Saito (Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4538-7.ch014
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Abstract

Research into “21st-century skills” has emphasized collaborative skills as a requirement for success in our future society. This chapter investigates the development of educational programs designed to foster collaborative skills among students and analyzes students’ self-efficacy for training. The analysis showed that students’ self-efficacy is higher in “collaborative skills” than in other areas. On the other hand, logical-thinking skills and relationship-building skills maintain low scores. These findings suggest that students follow a learning process in which they have to recognize collaborative behavior as an early step, and this behavior is re-recognized by the reaction of other students as the next step. Therefore, it is suggested that educators incorporate opportunities to recognize successful experiences through relationships with other students into the learning process.
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Collaborative Learning Literature Review

In order to cultivate 21st-century skills, it is necessary to foster thinking skills and problem-solving skills through collaborative, learned-centered activities. Based on Vygotsky’s “activity theory,” Engeström (1987) pointed out that learning is promoted through collaborative activities and learning tools. Moreover, Collins, Brown, and Newman (1989) advocated “cognitive apprenticeship,” which utilizes a learning form based on traditional, handed-down skills. Finally, Lave and Wenger (1991) proposed the legitimate peripheral participation theory, pointing out the usefulness of participation within a learning community. Based on a review of literature and educational policy, this study has developed a collaborative skills training programs utilizing ICT for elementary school students.

On the other hand, research on programming learning has aimed at cultivating children’s creativity and expressiveness from the standpoint of constructivism as a learner-centered form of learning. Resnick (2007) developed an applications programming block called Scratch for learners to obtain their own shema and to acquire creativity and expressiveness as part of research on learning tools and curricula. However, Resnick’s studies were not designed to foster the “Ability to cooperate with others” as one of the 21st century skills. Therefore, it remains necessary to carry out research on educational curriculum development in order to take advantage of ICT based on social constructionism.

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