Tech and the 21st Century Classroom
4 minute read for educators and administrators
If you have your ear to the ground in the world of education, you’ve probably heard the term 21st century learner for a while now. And even for those of us outside of academia, we know the concept: skills like critical thinking, technology literacy, and flexibility, just to name a few, all of which seem to have taken on a new meaning in light of the Internet.
To be sure, the Digital Age has changed the job market, and employers are on the lookout for workers who aren’t just tech literate, but who are flexible thinkers, can learn how to learn, and have strong collaboration skills.
How are the best educators preparing students to be competitive in such a job market? The answer is complex, but without a doubt, a huge component is the technology teachers and students have at their fingertips. Afterall, how can we expect to send tomorrow’s leaders out into the workforce to be successful if they haven’t worked with and alongside today’s technology?
A hallmark of a 21st century learning environment is its interactive capabilities. Gone are the days of the “sage on the stage” teaching model. In a 21st century classroom, SMARTboards open up a world of interaction and present an opportunity to move beyond passive learning.
In addition, research opportunities in a 21st century learning environment must be authentic and engaging. STEM carts, for example, are one way educators are intertwining technology with learning to help create a student-centered experience, and when learning is student-centric, suddenly engagement is amplified.
One of the most important 21st century skills educators are imparting is that of collaboration. Never before has it been more important in the job market to harness the power of teamwork than it is today, when coworkers can easily be on the other side of the country or halfway around the world. Through technology integration in things like student collaboration rooms, learners are able to harness the power of creativity and even take their knowledge beyond the limitations of the four classroom walls to online global communities.
At the end of the day, the true powerhouse of a 21st century classroom lies with the teacher. The power she wields comes not from the knowledge she stands and recites, but from the opportunities she designs for students to learn, and some of the most impactful opportunities will be ones intertwined and integrated with the best technology.
At CCS, we understand the priority educators place on collaborative learning and empowering students to apply that learning in meaningful ways. We also understand successful integration of classroom technology requires customization and support. That’s why our education focused audio visual team, made up almost entirely of former educators and administrators, would love to discuss solutions for your learning environment. Contact us today to request a quote and begin laying the groundwork to cultivate the strongest 21st century learning skills