Daily edventures


24. April 2012



With the Blog the vice president of education for Microsoft Corp.’s Worldwide Public Sector organization Anthony Salcito started a 365-day look on big ideas as well as individual challenges in education and blog it for a worldwide community.


“The students should solve problems and create things that really matter – matter to them and matter to the real world.”

Jutta Schneider, Project Manager at Helliwood was interviewed by Anthony Salcito and shares her work in the fields of fostering 21st century skills of young people through the help of new media and the success of the students that comes along with it.

Why is education important to you?
It is no hidden secret that people need to be able to organize their own learning to keep up with the fast progression in a globalized world. Education needs to prepare young people for the requirements of the society in the 21st century and evolve essential skills like social and personal competences. Our world needs self-confident participants that act in a responsible and meaningful way in the knowledge society.

The conclusion is to assign responsible tasks to the young people already during school and to provide learning environments that enable active learning situations where they are not only receiving content and facts but start to think and produce own things and solutions by themselves. The learning is successful if students have knowledge but also skills to use and perform their knowledge.

The students should solve problems and create things that really matter. Matter to them and matter to the real world. We should empower them to really make a difference. But we have to keep in mind that education does not only happen in schools and during school time. It happens everywhere in everyone’s daily life. We have to take the opportunity and open the classrooms to the world outside.

What is your proudest professional achievement (briefly describe the work you are most recognized for)?
With the Talentmobil ( we created a tool that helps students to find out their 21st century skills in an active way and illustrate the results in a digital portfolio. The special focus on this project is to combine new media with the development of skills that are necessary in future professional fields.

Why is the Talentmobil so important?
If you ask young people where they are really good at, what competences they have besides being good in school subjects, they will probably just shrug their shoulders. To know one’s own skills and competences is quite hard, because you need a lot self-reflection.

Education experts all over the world are currently facing the 21st century skill topic. There is no doubt that education needs to support the development of skills like communication, creativity, problem solving, self-regulation and media skills. But we also need to help students to be able to reflect and describe them as their individual strengths.

How does the Talentmobil work?
The Talentmobil provides action based learning situations that foster on the one hand certain skills but also allow the students to reflect their own performance. In small groups the students work self-responsible on different tasks and solve one given problem all together in their team. With the help of standardized questionnaires the students assess each other and give a valuing feedback on the skills they could observe among each other.

What is special about the Talentmobil?
In all learning situations we use new media and technology in a creative and innovative way because we strongly believe in the supportive and motivating character of ICT. The students e.g. create a digital herbarium, rap and perform old poems with virtual turntables or develop interior design with an online app. In the end they document all their outcomes, reflections and peer assessment results in their personal digital portfolio. This serves as a guidance into a responsible future in the 21st century.

The Talentmobil is very successful in schools. Students really enjoy the possibility to show their hidden talents and most teachers are surprised about the performance of their students in a positive way. They always tell us that they now recognize the potential of the young people.

How can other educators facing similar challenges implement what you’ve learned?
The huge success of the Talentmobil is also due to the working environment it is embedded. Located in the nonprofit sector Helliwood media & education combines the specific skills of a nonprofit organization with the experience and potential of an agency for New Media. As an educator and trainer I have the chance to be on the spot in schools and get know the needs and challenges they have to deal with. Back in the office we develop solutions with a wide range of cooperation partners in Germany and worldwide, so that we can bring back our success to the target group.

The best advice for educators is to build up and use the own network for innovative ideas. This offers you the opportunity to view things from different perspectives and create powerful partnerships.

If you could change one thing about today’s “system” of education, what would it be?
Less thinking in structures. More space for creativity and innovation.

What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
Innovation is not only a word, it has to be a way of thinking and should be present in every aspect of education. It has to be internalized. Everyone takes profit from an innovative environment and from innovative ideas. Students learn new things, the motivation is higher and the success more effective. Innovative solutions prepare students for the future. Teachers benefit because they can expand their teaching and learning practices. They take part in the lifelong learning process and avoid stagnation. In my vision every school should have the desire for continuous change and sustainable development.

What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
Be curious and creative. Don’t stop learning.

Anthony Salcito’s Blog:



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