How to teach 21st Century Skills with the World of 7 Billion video contest

The 21st Century Skills are a set of abilities that students need to develop in order to succeed in the information age. As discussed by Thoughtful Learning, students today need the ability to “think deeply about issues, solve problems creatively, work in teams, communicate clearly in any media, learn ever-changing technologies, and deal with a flood of information.” And including 21st Century Skills in the classroom is becoming not just a good idea, but a requirement.

One meaningful way to incorporate 21st Century Skills in your classroom is having your students take part in the World of 7 Billion student video contest. From start to finish of the video creation process, your students will think critically, creatively problem solve, innovate, collaborate, and communicate.

Students Utilize 21st Century Skills by Creating Films on Global Issues

In this post, we’re going to examine five of the 21st Century Skills and how they are utilized by the film creation process.

Think Creatively – Students will start their video project by selecting one of three global challenges, and brainstorming ideas to use in their video. Students will find it’s much easier to come up with a good idea for a video if they are passionate about the message. And as noted on the Judging Rubric, entries will be scored on “how well the video draws in the viewer and keeps their attention.” Creative thinking will be vital for an attention grabbing video (and for a high score from the judges)!

Implement Innovations – As required by the contest, students will need to develop and include an idea for a sustainable solution for their selected global challenge. We’ve developed a Sustainable Solution Organizer to assist students formulating their solutions and to guide them as they consider how to meet the needs of a present issue without negatively impacting future generations. What new ideas can they develop?

Communicate Clearly – Communicating with the purpose to inform and motivate viewers will be the goal for students in the video contest. Clear and factual communication is both effective and necessary in getting the intended message across to viewers in the short allotment of time. Videos cannot be longer than 60 seconds so clear communication is a must.

Use and Manage Information – Along with clear communication, students will need to incorporate information they have researched on the chosen global challenge accurately and clearly in their video. We don’t expect students to enter the film process as experts on their chosen topic so research will be necessary. An important skill students will utilize in this part of the process is the ability to decipher what information is most important for their message and most useful in supporting their solution.

Create Media Products – All entries must be in video format so this is possibly the most easily satisfied 21st Century Skill. Students will ultimately create a video that effectively conveys their message and solution through both the content of the video, and through the production of the video itself. The ability to utilize technology and media creation software or tools is a 21st Century Skill useful to your students as they prepare for a future in the information age.