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Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners by Scott McQuiggan, Jamie McQuiggan, Jennifer Sabourin, Lucy Kosturko

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CHAPTER 5

Higher-Order Thinking Skills and Digital Fluency

Higher-order thinking skills encompass behaviors associated with how we productively utilize our knowledge. Productive, real-world skills such as thinking critically about information, applying factual and procedural knowledge to efficiently solve problems, effectively communicating and collaborating with others, and conceiving creative ideas are ways to engage in deeper learning. However, after surveying over 400 employers, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills found a frightening consensus that the majority of high-school graduates are deficient in writing, mathematics, and reading comprehension as well as skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.1 In a recent poll by Microsoft, 59 percent of employed Americans aged 18 to 35 agree that the majority of the skills they use every day were learned outside of school.2 In sum, there exists an alarming gap in the ideal and reality when it comes to preparing our students for today's workforce.

Higher order thinking skills are critical for thriving in today's digitally-connected society. The Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (AT21CS) is a research project that advocates for greater adoption of teaching higher-order thinking skills. They categorize these skills as ways of thinking (e.g., creativity, problem solving); ways of working (e.g., communication, collaboration); tools for working (e.g., content knowledge, digital fluency); and living in the world ...

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