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21st Century Skills Development - Through Fun and Effective Inquiry-Based Learning

The speakers will share some core ideas in their new book titled “21st Century Skills Development Through Inquiry-Based Learning: From Theory to Practice”. The book brings together three of the most important contemporary topics in educational research. Within each of these topics, the book works at integrating across frameworks for a range of standards, as well as varying inquiry-oriented pedagogies. The book reviews the definitions of twenty-first century skills, considers what different frameworks have been established as contemporary guiding educational tenets, and integrates the intersections among frameworks, and aligns them in the three very different national educational contexts of Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the United States. A key theme that runs through the book is the ambitious teaching and learning practices that are integral to inquiry-based learning environments. These are ambitious for teachers in that they will need to be prepared to adapt to the directions that learners take in their inquiry. These are ambitious for learners, as much is expected of them, as they become active agents with heavy responsibility for their own learning. Inquiry-based learning environments are ambitious in the type of new approaches to instructional design and assessment that are needed. The challenges are considerable as they are at variance with teachers’ learning histories and the current generation of students’ learning experiences. It requires a high level of technology, information literacy, and media literacy that are twenty-first century skills for teachers along with the students they teach. The book provides both a vital starting point for educators to question and to come to know our own perspectives on learning, our own frames of reference, our own assumptions and beliefs about learning, and then to advance our pedagogy through the rich elaboration of the approaches provided in the book.

About the Authors

Dr. Samuel Kai Wah Chu, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was the Head of Division of Information and Technology Studies (2013-16) and the Deputy Director of the Centre for Information Technology in Education (2008-17). He received a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Library Science from University of British Columbia. He obtained 2 PhDs in Education – one focusing on e-Learning from University College London, Institute of Education (Ranked 1st in the world - QS 2017) and another one focusing on Information and Library Science from HKU, Faculty of Education (7th in the world - QS 2017). He has involved in over 50 research/project grants with a total funding of US$ 8,913,363. He has published more than 270 articles and books with over 50 appear in international academic journals. This includes key journals in the area of IT in education, information and library science, school librarianship, academic librarianship and knowledge management. Dr. Chu is the Managing Editor for Journal of Information & Knowledge Management and was the Associate Editor for Online Information Review (2012-16). He is also a Member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Panel of the Research Grants Council of HK. He has received a number of awards including the Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award in 2013, Faculty’s Knowledge Exchange Award in 2016 and Excellent Health Promotion Project Award from Food and Health Bureau in 2017. He is ranked as the top 66th author in the world regarding his publications in library and information science (DOI 10.1007/s11192-014-1519-9).

Dr. Rebecca Reynolds is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Rutgers University. Her work addresses the development of e-learning systems for formal in-school teaching and learning in K-12. She also explores the use of such systems to support informal learning, engagement and knowledge-building in a broad range of affinity spaces. She uses a range of methods to address these questions spanning qualitative and quantitative social science research with human subjects, while also studying systems-generated content such as site metrics and trace log data, considering data validity and ethics in education, and using the method of design-based research. She publishes widely in the fields of information science, educational technology, learning analytics and the learning sciences. She was recognized with an Institute for Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Early Careers grant award in 2012 totaling $399,995, as well as internal Rutgers University funding in the amount of $55,000, supporting her scholarship. She was the recipient of her Faculty’s Outstanding Research Award in 2016.