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TregoED Launches Web-Based Tool To Help Students Build 21st Century Skills

TregoED, a provider of online tools and workshops, has introduced SCAN, a Web-based tool aimed at helping middle school and high school students learn and build their critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.

SCAN is an acronym that essentially covers the recommended steps of approaching a challenge: Stop, and think things through; Clarify the key issues; Ask yourself what's most important; Now, what's your next step? SCAN is designed to provide detailed scenarios that require these steps, and the corresponding thought processes, in a variety of subject areas. Currently the focus is mainly on science and health, social studies (civics, history, current events and societal issues, financial and cultural literacy, etc.), and life skills, but TregoED said it has several others in development for release in the near future. In addition, teachers are free to design and detail their own scenarios, perhaps based on more local issues or even problems their students or school are currently facing, enter them into the template, and have them formatted in as lesson plans in a SCAN module.

Subscribers, explained a TregoED spokesperson, can present students with real-world and hypothetical scenarios, provided by SCAN, that raise issues, highlight points of dispute, stimulate discussion, and generally set participants on a course of pragmatic analytical and critical thinking applicable in their education, most notably in assignments and exams that require extensive thought and analysis rather than simple answers or multiple choice bubbles, and in real-life situations.

"With each SCAN lesson, students in all grade levels become masters in the skills of collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication," said 6th-grade teacher Lorelei Russo. "I have not experienced students more engaged in learning than during the class periods in which I've incorporated SCAN into my lessons."

Subscriptions to SCAN are available on an annual basis for individual teachers and as school- or district-wide site licenses. Details on pricing and contact information can be found here. Teachers can also register for a 30-day free trial subscription.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.