Teachers are hearing the terms “21st Century Classroom” and “21st Century Learning” a lot during trainings and within resources. Teachers need to understand what these terms mean in order to fully grasp the concepts behind them.
A “21st Century Classroom” and a “21st Century Learner” go together. Learners/students come into our classrooms with more technology skills than ever before. School districts need to figure out how to incorporate technology into the classrooms for teachers and students to use in their everyday learning.
Classrooms that are “21st Century Classrooms” have access to Interactive White Boards computers with Internet, clickers, mobile devices, iPods/iPads, and other tools that students can use to present and gather information. The key is interactivity and collaboration between tools and learners. Raechelle Clemmons points out in the article “Technology, Instruction and the 21st Century Classroom” (2013, May) that “Simply adding technology is not sufficient to address the changing nature of instruction.” Teachers and staff members need to be trained on these technology tools to implement them correctly so they can be used to best benefit the students and their learning. There are still teachers in classrooms who have access to all of these tools but who do not use them because they are uncomfortable with them.
Another option many are moving towards is online learning. Classes and schools are being accessed online by growing numbers. This allows for online learning without even setting foot in a classroom. There are commercials for K-12 public schools and colleges/universities that can be accessed from your home and can be completed all online. Some programs (Edmodo, Moodle, etc.) are also available to teachers who want to whole or partial classes and lessons online. Many of these tools can be accessed by the teacher from home and created by them to meet the needs of their students.
Teachers and schools also have access to the 21s Century Skills guidelines and framework to help guide them in their instruction with the use of technology. Teachers can access skills for: information and communication, thinking and problem-solving, interpersonal and self-directional, digital technology and real-world technology. These skills were created by teachers, business people, and policy makers to meet the growing demand in the workforce and make sure students are ready to meet the needs.
The following link is of a great image of the difference between traditional classrooms and digital classrooms: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/06/the-5-important-elements.... This image really gets you thinking about the difference and how classrooms have changed.
Blogging is just one tool that will help create “21st Century Classrooms” and “21st Century Learners.” Blogging will allow teachers and students to communicate with each other outside of the classroom, add resources, and interact and collaborate with their learning. Many assignments can be created with the use of blogs for the students as well as parents, staff members, and community members.
Clemmons, R. (2013, May). Technology, Instruction and the 21st Century Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2013/05/technology-ins...
Kharbach, M. (n.d.). The 5 Important Elements of the 21st Century Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/06/the-5-important-elements...
Partnership for 21st Century Skills. (n.d.). Partnership for 21st Century Skills Home. Retrieved from http://www.p21.org/
Stevens, M. (n.d.). National Education Association: 21st-Century Learner. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/46989.htm