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Nov 17, 2017

21st Century Skills and Lumosity

*This post was written in collaboration with Lance Vikaros, Lumosity’s Director of Games Systems Design. With both a Masters in Education and a Doctor of Education, the latter specifically focused on game design and learning technology, Lance has been instrumental in the development of our new Math and Language games categories.*

Over the past few years, we’ve made a concentrated effort to expand the breadth of your Lumosity experience. We’ve added more cognitive training games to help you challenge Memory, Attention, Speed, Flexibility, and Problem Solving, as well as broadened our offerings to include Language and Math training.

We believe finding opportunities to challenge yourself across a range of skills is important. The World Economic Forum (WEF) agrees: they worked to draft a list of “21st Century Skills,” which they see as being vital to success in the century ahead. Their list is meant as a guide for educators and policy-makers seeking to encourage students to embrace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), but we don’t think you have to be a student or working in a STEM field to appreciate “21st Century Skills.” And, while we didn’t design Lumosity with “21st Century Skills” or STEM in mind, we do see some overlap between the WEF’s list and the skills you can challenge with Lumosity.

The full list of “21st Century Skills” is as follows:

Foundation Literacies — Literacy and numeracy; scientific literacy; information and communications technology (ICT) literacy; financial literacy; cultural literacy; and civic literacy.

Competencies — Critical thinking and problem solving; communication; and collaboration.

Character Qualities — Creativity; initiative; persistence and grit; adaptability; curiosity; leadership; and social and cultural awareness.

Chief among the “21st Century Skills” are problem solving and critical thinking. At heart, STEM fields are essentially applied problem solving, so its inclusion on the WEF’s list makes a lot of sense. They define problem solving as:

  • reasoning effectively, such as through inductive and deductive reasoning;
  • using systems thinking;
  • making judgments and decisions through synthesizing available information;
  • and solving problems by asking pertinent questions.

At Lumosity, though, we see problem solving as a core cognitive ability. Our Problem Solving games tend to focus on the “reasoning effectively” aspect of the WEF’s problem solving definition — especially our logical reasoning games. For instance, our game Fuse Clues challenges inductive reasoning, while Organic Order requires deductive reasoning. For a more in-depth look at logical reasoning and inductive and deductive reasoning, check out our Lumosity Glossary: Logical Reasoning blog post.

Now that we’ve expanded beyond cognitive training games, though, Lumosity can also help you challenge the WEF’s literacy and numeracy skills, too. Our Language and Math games were designed to give adults of all ages the chance to polish their vocabulary and math skills, respectively — something not many adults have a chance to do intentionally after leaving school.

We also know that it takes persistence and grit to keep training with Lumosity regularly. Obviously, our team works hard to make the most engaging and beautiful games possible, but we’re still touched by the level of commitment so many Lumosity members demonstrate: through training streaks in the hundreds or determination to best Train of Thought Level 9 once and for all. We’re proud to create the opportunities for you to challenge yourselves, but we know choosing to challenge yourself is a lot harder.

As we approach Thanksgiving here in the United States, Lumosity thanks you for including in your busy 21st Century lives.

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