Saturday / April 13

6 Modern Fluencies for the Post-Pandemic World

“Great teachers engineer learning experiences that put students in the driver’s seat. Then, they get out of the way.” – Ben Johnson

To tap into the full intellectual potential of every learner and prepare them for the post-pandemic world, educators must help learners develop the essential next-generation skills needed to thrive. To do this, education must build a bridge between traditional and progressive learning. They must move beyond perpetuating the pedagogies of control, to facilitating learning experiences that empower the generations of today and tomorrow. 

For a more detailed overview of the difference between literacy and fluency, watch this video on the Committed Sardines YouTube channel.

The 6 Modern Fluencies

The fluencies is an approach to teaching and learning that places a vital emphasis on the new skills students will need when they leave our schools to begin building their unique part of the future.  

Each title of the fluencies is a link to an instructional video that provides a more in-depth explanation of each of the fluencies and their progressions. What follows is a brief overview of the modern fluencies. 

Solution Fluency is the ability to think creatively to solve problems in real-time using the 9D’s process. The steps are: Define clearly the problem that needs to be solved, Discover the information that gives the problem context; Determine the target audiences and those who can help solve the problem; Dream a creative and appropriate solution; Design the process in measurable, achievable steps; Deliver the solution by both producing and publishing; Diagnose through the assessment and evaluation of both the process and the product; Debrief by identifying potential improvements and reflecting on what has been learned and achieved, anDecide on next the steps to make a difference both locally and globally. 

For more information on Solution Fluency and how to use it with learners, visit the Solution Fluency video on the Committed Sardines YouTube channel. 

Collaboration Fluency is the ability to collaborate seamlessly in both physical and virtual spaces, with real and virtual partners. Explain – groups collectively unpack the problem and describe, in their own words, what tasks they are required to complete; Establish – students identify the target audiences and establish group expectations, rules, and norms; Explore – gather information and resources. Envision –visualize and imagine a variety of possible solutions; Engineer a step-by-step plan laying out the process and timelines to accomplish tasks; Execute – learners create a product (Produce) and then deliver their solution to a determined audience (Publish); Examine – assessing both the product and process; Evaluate – reflecting on the product and process; Extend – acting upon these reflections. 

For a synopsis of Collaboration Fluency and how to effectively teach with teams, visit the Collaboration Fluency video on the Committed Sardines YouTube channel. 

Information Fluency is the ability to unconsciously and intuitively access and interpret information in all forms and formats, extract the essential knowledge, perceive its meaning and significance, and apply it to solve problems or complete real-world tasks. The steps are:  Ask – learners define the scope of the task; Audience – identify the target audience; Access – the most relevant data utilizing good questions. Authenticate – validating all sources; Assemble – summarize and synthesize the information; Apply – use the data to solve the problem; Assess focuses on assessing the information fluency skills. Analyze – explicitly teach learners to become critical reflectors of the learning process. Action – utilize the new knowledge to take real-world actions. 

For more detail on using Information Fluency to help learners access, analyze, and apply information in all forms, visit the Information Fluency video on the Committed Sardines YouTube channel. 

Communication Fluency is the ability to communicate with text and speech in multiple multimedia formats. The 9Ps of Communication Fluency are: Pose – learners come to an agreement and develop a shared understanding of the message to be conveyed, the platform to be used, the medium best suited for the message, and the format of the presentation; Pinpoint – students identify the audience or audiences that will be the recipients of their message/information; Prepare – is the research phase of the process during which learners gather information about their intended audiences; Picture is the visioning process where learners brainstorm, imagine, and visualize possible modes and media to convey their message; Plan – students develop a simple roadmap designed to help team members understand their roles and responsibilities and set timelines as to when and how learners are going to achieve set goals; Produce – students put their plan into action by creating their product and presenting it to an audience; Probe is the assessment and evaluation step; Ponder is specifically allocated time for reflection; Pledge provides learners with an opportunity to make a difference by positively contributing to society.  

For a more detailed explanation of Communication Fluency, visit the Communication Fluency video on Committed Sardines YouTube channel. 

Creativity Fluency is the ability to generate new and novel solutions to real-world problems. The steps are: Illustrate – students outline their understanding of what they are expected to accomplish; Identify – students determine their target audiences, which could be individuals or organizations. Inquire –  learners access a range of resources to gather information to help them complete tasks. Imagine – is the brainstorm step where students develop as many ideas as possible for their solution; Initiate provides learners with a step-by-step process and identifies milestones in creating achievable deadlines to complete required tasks; Implement – There are two components to the Implement step – Produce and Publish. Students create their product/solution and then present it to their targeted audience; Inspect – students’ work is assessed; Investigate asks students to look back and reflect on the process; Inspire extends learning into the real world. 

For more information on Creativity Fluency, watch the Creativity Fluency video on The Committed Sardines YouTube channel. 

Global Citizenship is a learned process comprising a range of knowledge and skills. Global citizenship comes with responsibilities. All citizens must develop awareness about the various issues related to religions, cultures, traditions, values, perspectives, beliefs, and situations being faced daily by our fellow global citizens. Tolerance, understanding, acceptance, and sensitivity are all essential core values that need to be developed by all good citizens. Being successful in life takes more than just performing well at school. Our jobs as educators are to ensure that students develop moral characteristics, agency, and voice, which will help them build relationships and understand how their actions impact both themselves and the world. 

The fluencies help learners see the relevance of what is being taught, and how they can apply these essential skills to their daily lives. Rather than exploring hypothetical situations or memorizing isolated, fragmented content from a textbook, the fluencies empower learners to put their skills and knowledge to practical use by designing and developing solutions and creating products that will be beneficial for communities and the world at large. For more information, read Literacy is Still Not Enough. 

Written by

Nicky Mohan has more than 20 years experience in education, both as a classroom teacher and a school administrator. Her professional focus has been on developing and delivering practical professional development activities for teachers. She has also worked in the business sector as a learning and development manager, and was responsible for the design and delivery of professional development courses and resource materials. Nicky is the co-author of Making School a Game Worth Playing.

Ian Jukes has been a teacher, an administrator, writer, consultant, university instructor, and keynote speaker. He is the director of the InfoSavvy Group, an international consulting group that provides leadership and program development in the areas of assessment and evaluation, strategic alignment, curriculum design and publication, professional development, planning, change management, hardware and software acquisition, information services, customized research, media services, and online training as well as conference keynotes and workshop presentations. Ian is the co-author of several bestselling books, including Literacy is Not Enough.

Ryan Schaaf is the Assistant Professor of Educational Technology at Notre Dame of Maryland University, and a faculty associate for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Graduate Program, with over 15 years in the education field. Before higher education, Ryan was a 3rd-grade public school teacher, instructional leader, curriculum designer, and a technology integration specialist in Howard County, Maryland. In 2007, he was nominated for Howard county and Maryland Teacher of the Year.

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