Collaboration: Future Skills

This Monday, we posted an article about Teacher Collaboration, asking teachers in India to help us understand what hinders collaboration between teachers. I’ll admit it was a bit surprising that a large number of people voted for “Teachers have little interest in collaboration” (You can see the results of the poll in the post.)

I would have imagined that availability of time, IT infrastructure, and learning resources would rate higher, as impediments for collaboration and professional development. (They ranked #2, #4 and #5, respectively.)

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and collaboration are intrinsically linked, and teachers, of all professions, need to consider active collaboration with peers and other stakeholders, as the primary tool for CPD. There is enough evidence that the knowledge and skills we are imparting today are fast becoming redundant for jobs of the future. What does this mean for teachers? This video from Michael Lee Wesch, associate professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, was created in 2007, and with every passing year, it becomes more relevant.

The Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute, has published a report – Future Skills 2020 (we are just six years away!), which describes six drivers of change and the ten skills for the future workforce. The inimitable Michelle Martin has summarised these ten skills for the future workforce in simple terms:

  1. Sense-making–ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed.
  2. Social Intelligence—ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
  3. Novel and Adaptive Thinking—proficiency at thinking and coming up with responses and solutions that go beyond rote, rules-based thinking.
  4. Cross-cultural Competency—ability to operate in different cultural settings.
  5. Computational Thinking—ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.
  6. New Media Literacy—ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media and to leverage these media for persuasive communication.
  7. Transdisciplinarity—literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.
  8. Design Mindset—ability to represent and develop tasks for desired outcomes.
  9. Cognitive Load Management—ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques.
  10. Virtual Collaboration—ability to work productively, drive engagement and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.
Read the full post, at Future Skills 2020 and the Implications for Professional Development. Complete Future Skills 2020 Report [PDF] here.

Two themes emerge, when we look at these ten skills. Teachers will have to:

  1. acquire these skills for themselves to enable them to be a part of the future workforce
  2. develop mechanisms to impart these skills to their students.

If we look at these skills critically, it is clear that collaboration becomes the base skill that teachers will need to acquire and hone.


eVeltio TEN is in the process of developing a series of articles, tools, and resources for teachers in India to enable them to collaborate and invest in their own CPD. If you would like to be a part of this project, drop a comment below, or contact us.


Atul Sabnis

Atul Sabnis

Founder of eVeltio Education Consulting, a young firm that provides consulting & implementation services to educational institutes to execute better strategies for delivery of education by integrating training, process, workflow, and technology.

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