• Engage Twenty-first century learning skills are the new 3 R’s for our students. Teachers at Birmingham Covington School designed a unique curriculum that inherently built the capacity for all students to become effective learners in our knowledge-based, digital society. The Engage program at BCS captures student interest and imagination in science, technology, engineering, and math. Projects and challenges offered through Engage are specifically designed to develop student literacy in and across each of these arenas. Following is our guiding framework for Engage at BCS (North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, 2003).

    Digital Age Literacy

    • Basic Literacy: student demonstrates language proficiency and numeracy at levels necessary for success on the job and in a Digital Age society
    • Scientific Literacy: student has the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making and participation in social systems
    • Economic Literacy: student identifies economic issues, examine the consequences of changes in economic conditions and public policies, and weigh costs against benefits
    • Technological Literacy: student knows what technology is and how it can be used efficiently and effectively to achieve specific goals
    • Visual Literacy: student interprets, uses, and creates visual media in ways that advance thinking, decision making, communication, and learning
    • Information Literacy: student is able to evaluate, locate, synthesize, and use information effectively, and accomplish these functions using technology
    • Multicultural Literacy: student understands and appreciates similarities and differences between the customs, values, and beliefs of their own culture and the cultures of others
    • Global Awareness: student recognizes and understands relationships among various entities across the globe

    Inventive Thinking

    • Adaptability/Managing Complexity: student handles multiple environments, goals, tasks, and inputs while understanding and adhering to organizational or technological constraints of time, resources, and systems
    • Self-Direction: students is able to set goals related to learning, plan for the achievement of those goals, independently manage time and effort, and independently assess the quality of learning and any products that result from the learning experience
    • Curiosity: student has a desire to know or a spark of interest that leads to inquiry
    • Creativity: student is able to bring something into existence that is original, whether personally (original only to the individual) or culturally (where the work adds significantly to a domain of culture as recognized by experts)
    • Risk Taking: student is willing to make mistakes, advocate unconven¬tional or unpopular positions, or tackle challenging problems without obvious solutions, such that their personal growth, integrity, or accomplishments are enhanced
    • Higher-Order Thinking and Sound Reasoning: student is adept at cognitive processes of analysis, comparison, inference/interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis, as applied to a range of academic domains and problem-solving contexts

    Effective Communication

    • Teaming and Collaboration: student cooperatively interacts with one or more individuals, working with others to solve problems, create novel products, or learn and master content
    • Interpersonal Skills: student is able to read and manage their own and others’ emotions, motivations, and behaviors during social interactions or in social- interactive contexts
    • Personal Responsibility: student demonstrates a depth and currency of knowledge about legal and ethical issues related to technology, combined with an ability to apply this knowledge to achieve balance, and enhance integrity and the quality of life
    • Social and Civic Responsibility: student manages technology and govern its use in ways that promote the public good and protect society, the environment, and democratic ideals
    • Interactive Communication: student generates meaning through exchanges using a range of contemporary tools, transmissions, and processes

    High Productivity

    • Prioritizing, Planning, and Managing for Results: student organizes to efficiently achieve the goals of specific projects or problems
    • Effective Use of Real-World Tools: student uses real-world tools (i.e., the hardware, software, networking, and peripheral devices used by information technology [IT] workers) in real-world ways
    • Ability to Produce Relevant, High-Quality Products: student is adept at developing intellectual, informational, or material products that serve authentic purposes and occur as a result of their using real-world tools to solve or communicate about real-world problems