Standards for the 21st-Century Learner from AASL

The following is a list of standards issued by AASL expanding the previous standards of information literacy to include digital, visual, textual, and technological literacies. These standards are to be used as an overlay with the core curriculum. Please link to the AASL's website for more information regarding the purpose, history, and development of these standards.

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

1 - Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge

1.1.1 Follow an inquiry-based process in seeking knowledge in curricular subjects, and make the real-world connection for using this process in own life.
1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
1.1.3 Develop and refine a range of questions to frame the search for new understanding.
1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions.
1.1.5 Evaluate information found in selected sources on the basis of accuracy, validity, appropriateness for needs, importance, and social and cultural context.
1.1.6 Read, view, and listen for information presented in any format (e.g., textual, visual, media, digital) in order to make inferences and gather meaning.
1.1.7 Make sense of information gathered from diverse sources by identifying misconceptions, main and supporting ideas, conflicting information, and point of view or bias.
1.1.8 Demonstrate mastery of technology tools for accessing information and pursuing inquiry.
1.1.9 Collaborate with others to broaden and deepen understanding.

1.2.1 Display initiative and engagement by posing questions and investigating the answers beyond the collection of superficial facts.
1.2.2 Demonstrate confidence and self-direction by making independent choices in the selection of resources and information.
1.2.3 Demonstrate creativity by using multiple resources and formats.
1.2.4 Maintain a critical stance by questioning the validity and accuracy of all information.
1.2.5 Demonstrate adaptability by changing the inquiry focus, questions, resources, or strategies when necessary to achieve success.
1.2.6 Display emotional resilience by persisting in information searching despite challenges.
1.2.7 Display persistence by continuing to pursue information to gain a broad perspective.

1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers.
1.3.2 Seek divergent perspectives during information gathering and assessment.
1.3.3 Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information.
1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community.
1.3.5 Use information technology responsibly.

1.4.1 Monitor own information-seeking processes for effectiveness and progress, and adapt as necessary.
1.4.2 Use interaction with and feedback from teachers and peers to guide own inquiry process.
1.4.3 Monitor gathered information, and access for gaps and weaknesses.
1.4.4 Seek appropriate help when it is needed.

2 - Draw conclusions, make informed decision, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge

2.1.1 Continue an inquiry-based research process by applying critical-thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation, organization) to information and knowledge in order to construct new understandings, draw conclusions, and create new knowledge.
2.1.2 Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
2.1.3 Use strategies to draw conclusions from information and apply knowledge to curricular areas, real-world situations, and further investigations.
2.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
2.1.5 Collaborate with others to exchange ideas, develop new understandings, make decisions, and solve problems.
2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create products that express new understandings.

2.2.1 Demonstrate flexibility in the use of resources by adapting information strategies to each specific resource and by seeking additional resources when clear conclusions cannot be drawn.
2.2.2 Use both divergent and convergent thinking to formulate alternative conclusions and test them against the evidence.
2.2.3 Employ a critical stance in drawing conclusions by demonstrating that the pattern of evidence leads to a decision or conclusion.
2.2.4 Demonstrate personal productivity by completing projects to express learning.

2.3.1 Connect understanding to the real world.
2.3.2 Consider diverse and global perspectives in drawing conclusions.
2.3.3 Use valid information and reasoned conclusions to make ethical decisions.

2.4.1 Determine how to act on information (accept, reject, modify).
2.4.2 Reflect on systematic process, and assess for completeness of investigation.
2.4.3 Recognize new knowledge and understanding.
2.4.4 Develop directions for future investigations.

3 - Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society

3.1.1 Conclude an inquiry-based research process by sharing new understandings and reflecting on the learning.
3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.
3.1.3 Use writing and speaking skills to communicate new understandings effectively.
3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use, and assess.
3.1.5 Connect learning to community issues.
3.1.6 Use information and technology ethically and responsibly.

3.2.1 Demonstrate leadership and confidence by presenting ideas to others in both formal and informal situations.
3.2.2 Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations and contributing questions and ideas during group discussions.
3.2.3 Demonstrate teamwork by working productively with others.

3.3.1 Solicit and respect diverse perspectives while searching for information, collaborating with others, and participating as a member of the community.
3.3.2 Respect the differing interests and experiences of others, and seek a variety of viewpoints.
3.3.3 Use knowledge and information skills and dispositions to engage in public conversation and debate around issues of common concern.
3.3.4 Create products that apply to authentic, real-world contexts.
3.3.5 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within and beyond the learning community.
3.3.6 Use information and knowledge in the service of democratic values.
3.3.7 Respect the principles of intellectual freedom.

3.4.1 Assess the processes by which learning was achieved in order to revise strategies and learn more effectively in the future.
3.4.2 Assess the quality and effectiveness of the learning product.
3.4.3 Assess own ability to work with others in a group setting by evaluating varied roles, leadership, and demonstrations of respect for other viewpoints.

4 - Pursue personal and aesthetic growth

4.1.1 Read, view, and listen for pleasure and personal growth.
4.1.2 Read widely and fluently to make connections with self, the world, and previous reading.
4.1.3 Respond to literature and creative expressions of ideas in various formats and genres.
4.1.4 Seek information for personal learning in a variety of formats and genres.
4.1.5 Connect ideas to own interests and previous knowledge and experience.
4.1.6 Organize personal knowledge in a way that can be called upon easily.
4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.
4.1.8 Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning.

4.2.1 Display curiosity by pursuing interests through multiple resources.
4.2.2 Demonstrate motivation by seeking information to answer personal questions and interests, trying a variety of formats and genres, and displaying a willingness to go beyond academic requirements.
4.2.3 Maintain openness to new ideas by considering divergent opinions, changing opinions or conclusions when evidence supports the change, and seeking information about new ideas encountered through academic or personal experiences.
4.2.4 Show an appreciation for literature by electing to read for pleasure and expressing an interest in various literary genres.

4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.
4.3.2 Recognize that resources are created for a variety of purposes.
4.3.3 Seek opportunities for pursuing personal and aesthetic growth.
4.3.4 Practice safe and ethical behaviors in personal electronic communication and interaction.

4.4.1 Identify own areas of interest.
4.4.2 Recognize the limits of own personal knowledge.
4.4.3 Recognize how to focus efforts in personal learning.
4.4.4 Interpret new information based on cultural and social context.
4.4.5 Develop personal criteria for gauging how effectively own ideas are expressed.
4.4.6 Evaluate own ability to select resources that are engaging and appropriate for personal interests and needs.


Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
identify trends and forecast possibilities.

Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:
interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a variety of digital environments and media.

communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.
develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with learners of other cultures.
contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

Research and Information Fluency

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:
plan strategies to guide inquiry.

locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
process data and report results.

Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:
identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.

plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

Digital Citizenship

Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Students:
advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology.

exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.
demonstrate personal responsibility for lifelong learning.
exhibit leadership for digital citizenship.

Technology Operations and Concepts

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Students:
understand and use technology systems.

select and use applications effectively and productively.
troubleshoot systems and applications.
transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies.

Resource Links:
AASL's Standards for 21st CenturyLearners
ISTE-NETS (International Society for Technology in Education - National Technology Standards)
AASL - Standards and Guidelines
Bloom's Digital Taxonomies
Foundation for Critical Thinking
Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database