21st Century Fluencies in the Arts

TDEA wiped me out!!  Sadly, I didn’t even have time to finish my first TDEA entry even though I did in fact sit down on Thursday to write it.  This year, I focused on taking classes that would help with my big technology push.  Can I say that it has paid off. As I sit at my dinning table, listening to my sweet sons play in the living room, my mind is totally overloaded with new information.  It’s now time to sit, reflect and figure out where to start.  So I’ll start with the first class I took at TDEA because the message has resonated most with me.

I accidentally sat in on a workshop title 21st Century Fluencies in the Arts. Initially I wasn’t planning on going to this workshop because I have already sat in PD meetings about 21st Century Skills at my school, and I simply wasn’t interested in another powerpoint talking about how I needed to implement these long list of skills in my teaching with little to no real examples of what that looks like in classroom like mine.

For those of you who need a reminder, like I did, here is a list of what 21st Century Skills are.

Learning Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Creative Thinking
  • Collaborating
  • Communicating

Literacy Skills

  • Information Literacy
  • Media Literacy
  • Technology Literacy

Life Skills

  • Flexibility
  • Initiative
  • Social Skills
  • Productivity
  • Leadership

– See more at: https://k12.thoughtfullearning.com/FAQ/what-are-21st-century-skills#sthash.JM10BddS.dpuf

Charles Aguillon, the Director of Fine Arts from Lake Travis ISD, stood in front of us.  He was a soft spoken man and although he wasn’t dressed like a Director of Fine Arts I was worried he may be one of those admin who was detached from what we do in the classroom and not really give us examples of how we can use this information in our classrooms.  But as soon as he started presenting I knew this was going to be different.

He began by defining 21st Century fluencies NOT skills.

  1. Solution Fluency
  2. Information Fluency
  3. Creativity Fluency
  4. Media Fluency
  5. Collaboration Fluency

He chose the word “fluency” instead of the popular word “skills” because as educators we should actually strive to help our students become fluent in these skills and argues that,  “students need to be able to use these skills smoothly, easily and readily.”  I couldn’t agree more.  I am always so surprised that my students lack the ability to use the technology they interact with daily in other ways beyond texting, kicking, snapping, facebooking, etc..

He also shared and discussed Web 2.0 Tools.  Now,  I have used some of these and so have you, but I didn’t know there was a name for them and he gave us a link to a toolbox with tons of Web 2.0 tools.  Web 2.0 tools are tools that live strictly online.  They are extremely user friendly and allow users more freedom to collaborate and communicate with each other quickly and easily.

I haven’t gone through the list yet, but below you will find the link.  During the presentation he highlighted the more popular ones, prezi.com, bitstrips.com, smore.com, and tagcrowd.com.  I have already used smore.com in my classes to preview what we would be learning in class, and yesterday I used 30boxes.com to create an online calendar for this month highlighting lesson plans, TEKS, Daily Objectives, and Demonstrations of Learnings.  What was really cool is that all I did was shared the calendar with my administrator and then I was done.  =)  So nice!!

I have already thought of a few ways I would like to use other ones.  I’ll post about them when I get my ideas more solidified.  =)

  • Dance history lessons.
  • Choreographer biography assignments.
  • Choreography motif development (what was your theme?)
  • Performance/Choreography Analysis
  • Dance on Film type projects

Web 2.0 Link:


Thanks to this presentation, when people ask me why I “need” a class set of iPads in my dance class I can better explain how students are not only learning 21st century skills but how they are becoming fluent in those skills because they are getting multiple opportunities to use them in various ways to create products that vary from basic informative posters and presentations all the way to short movie projects that require filming, editing, and the production of a polished final product that are shared via Web 2.0 tools.  This doesn’t even take into account the need to constantly collaborate, communicate, and evaluate along the way in order to ensure success.

Please share any ideas you may have in using these cool Web 2.0 tools and I’ll be sure to do the same!!!



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