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Peer Review

Route 21 - Building 21st Century Skills



Overall Numeric Rating:

3.5 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.5 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 26, 2011 by Teacher Education
Overview: Developed by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Route 21 is a one-stop-shop for 21st century skills-related information, resources and community tools. To get started on this web site, take a tour of the site and read the P21 Framework(pdf). Both links are available right on the main home page.
Type of Material: Collection and Tutorial
Recommended Uses: Research, information gathering, professional development, and content/reference materials for educational technology grant development The site could be used by preservice and inservice teachers, for classwork, group work, and homework.
Technical Requirements: Internet connection and current browser.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources, as exemplified by Route 21, to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation).
Target Student Population: K-university educators, student teachers, school district and university collaborative partners
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: P21’s framework for learning in the 21st century is based on the essential skills that our children need to succeed as citizens and workers in the 21st century. They have identified six key elements of a 21st century education: Core Subjects, 21st Century Content, Learning & Thinking Skills, ITC Literacy, Life Skills, and 21st Century Assessments and developed a model for K-20 educators to use. There are currently 8324 members of the site and 688 resources available for use. Besides the resources, 21st Century skills and support systems are addressed. 15 states belong to this national organization. Reference material for each of the states includes: standards, assessments, professional development, press and recognition, letters of support, and advisory council.
Concerns: Since much of the material that is represented is based on member contributions, there is an unevenness across the categories.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The learning materials available at this site provide an introduction, anchor, and reference for the educational technology model known as 21st century teaching skills. Educators, school and university partners, and teacher preparation instructors can use the information and resources for research, presentations, and archival examples of educational technology wants and needs during the first decade of the 21st century.
Concerns: The bulk of the material contributed and represented on the site is from 2007-2010. Some modules are not efficiently designed. It takes a few clicks to get to the material; some of the material is outside of the site.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: The site is systematically organized with four main headers across the top that show up on every page: 21st Century Skills, 21st Century Support Systems, Resources for 21st Century Skills, and 21st Century States. Navigation is easy with a menu of specific links for each of the four headers on the left hand column.
Concerns: The site still lists 2007 as its copyright. Site maintenance and updates across all the pages appear to be uneven. No contributions found since August 2010. Credit is given to those who help develop the site content in 2007, but there is no link for contacting anyone for current information.

Other Issues and Comments: As we move into the second decade of this century, the information and materials collected and organized at Route 21 are important, but they are not as current as they were when the site was developed. Navigation could be improved.