1.express the meaning of (the writer or speaker or something written or spoken) using different words, especially to achieve greater clarity.“you can either quote or paraphrase literary texts”
by Kevin Stoda
The following is largely a paraphrase of the Keynote address at the IMPROVING TEACHING QUALITY 1 : SYMPOSIUM at ROTANA RESORT, SALALAH, Oman on 10 April 2017. (The English Language Center at Salalah College of Technology, under the guidance of Mr. Saeed Al-Mashikhi, Head of the ELC and the Chairman of the Steering Committee, organized a workshop at Salalah Rotana Resort, entitled “Improving Teaching Quality 1”. Victoria Tuzlukova was the keynote speaker.) Paraphrasing is an important skill in our times, i.e. as we are often called on to process great amounts of material and report on it to others.
Dr. Victoria Tuzlokova is the Head of Professional Development and Research Unit at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. Tuzlokova focused in her Keynote Address on helping students reach the skills and achievements required for them in the 21st Century. The audience hall at the Rotana in Salalah was filled with lifelong educators from nearly ten different institutions in the Dhofar region of Oman.
Tuzlokova began her address by asking the audience at the Rotana how many participants on this date had been born in the 21st Century. No one in the room raised his or her hand.
Next, Tuzlokova reminded her audience to recall what it was like when there were no computers, no cell phones, and little modern technology in the classroom, i.e. back in the 20th Century. First of all, she continued, twentieth century knowledge was targeted at acquiring the “what” or “whats” of this world.
In contrast, Tuzlokova noted that 21st Century knowledge is not only about the ” whats” but equally focused on the “whys” and “hows” of our work-world and universe. The abilities required nowadays in the workplace and life by the main stakeholders include:
(1) Locate, assess, and represent new information as quickly–and as well– as possible.
(2) Smoothly–and fairly quickly– communicate to our collaborators [team members] and others what has been discovered or acquired [or which information still needs to be acquired and how this is to be undertaken].
(3) Become adaptable, creative, & innovative in a system while constantly keeping our eyes on the big picture.
(4) Think and learn for oneself, but doing this more often by using external help.
Knowledge and skills of these types require us working with important related technologies, which are accelerating our information and creating new-but-ubiquitous learning and workspaces at an ever-increasing pace.
Such skills and attainments in knowledge management provide the high wage and high skill workor jobs of our present and future. Because of this, there is already a huge gap between wages at one end of the wage spectrum and the rest of our workers at the other end of the spectrum.
Most of all, 21st Century Knowledge is seldom produced by one person, but it is usually created by groups or networks of groups. This is why the abilities to communicate and to interact with other groups [and in different media or mediums] is so important. We all need to be able to share or give-and-take with others.
As well, we need to focus on both the theoretical and practical evidences before us. For this new way of focusing, a new mindset is required. Here is our context and the student profile to it here in Oman. Currently,
(A) there is a lack of continuity between schools and colleges or training centers at all levels.
(B) there is a lack engagement and curiosity at most levels and across disciplines as well.
(C) there is often a lack of positive attitudes towards learning.
(D) there are too few peer reviews and to little self-evaluations going on.
(E) broader perspectives on/in learning are often missing, i.e. lifelong learning, experiential learning, learning by doing in general, and growth in learning autonomy.
(F) there is an obvious need to employ more and more modern technologies in the classroom, while
(G) class sizes must be reconsidered due to these changes in learning, doing , and creating of learning communities.
WHY DO WE NEED 21st CENTURY SKILLS IN OMAN?
Actually, the entire Arab world sees the need already.
The issues in all Arab lands are as essential to our well-being as are the job market and economic & social developments we are involved in .
Many issues today involve the needs for ever-more transferable skills to problems with workplace motivation. Other issues involve promoting leadership skills while creating academic achievements for all. Other issues include the demands of new technical skills and social media developments. Further, mentoring skills and teamwork skills remain as essential as does the promotion of integrity and honesty in our society.
These are the students and workers who can manage 21st Century skills are needed in our societies. We also need those who are learning to be healthy, to be friendly, to be patient, to be social, and to be creative. We need those who can empower others to do the same through whatever external means remain possible, even as our global and local economies transform with each generation.
We are growing a common vision of what we want.
We want a country that will be a safe–and one that will have safe drivers, too–on our roads in life and its byways. This safety can be on the football field or in a swimming pool. These sense of joys and fulfillments, too, could be at work, in family or in home.
Our society wants spaces in work and life where we can encourage and train others–and ourselves–about good health, good family relationships, and great relationships with peers and in whatever progress life and society bring us now and in the future.
Alongside all of this, we want an increase in positive lifelong learning attitudes for all ages in society, i.e. towards work, learning, and in the just-and-fair handling of technologies and resources that need to be overseen and mastered as the 21st Century work-world or progress is intended to benefit us all.