by Terry Hayek
Ed Note: This post has been updated from a 2013 post
21st-Century learning is not so much a trend as a reality.
We are decades into the 21st century so what you are doing in your classroom now is technological 21St The lesson of the century. Semantics aside, we can all improve, and many of us are being held accountable by admins, blogs and local PLCs to improve “bringing the next generation into the 21st century”.
With that kind of pressure—and endless district walk-throughs—it might be necessary to duplicate it for you. 21St Thought of the century And learning environments with the right people to make the right kind of impression and look forward-thinking.
10 Ways to Forge a 21st Century Classroom
1. ‘Do Projects’
Projects are what students do at 21St Century (This is distinctly different from project-based learning, mind you.)
One of the most powerful ways to harness the tone and process of 21st-century learning is to start big – with broad, comprehensive projects that change the world and give students endless opportunities to think, innovate, design, publish and curate because that’s what modern students do, so No? They express and connect! So get connected! Through the project!
2. Create a class Twitter, TikTok, or Instagram account
Then use it to announce trivial things like the 20th due datem-The work of the century. (No one will notice—you’re on Twitter, and that’s all that matters.) And when you bring a new idea to a data team meeting, tell them you heard about it on Twitter. #streetcred #nofilter #nomakeup #Iwokeuplike
3. Force awkward and unnecessary cooperation
And when students have trouble collaborating, tell them collaboration is 21st-The skill of the century, throw a calendar at them (or perhaps casually toss it on their desk) and tell them to get the program. If that doesn’t work, find the nearest map and pound your index finger at China and tell them if they don’t wake up everything is going to come true in the next fifty years.
4. Video conference with strangers!
Video conferencing with classrooms in India – or even in neighboring counties – is a sure fire example of a 21st-Even if the classroom of the century has been one. Fire up the ol’ Mac, exchange awkward questions, laugh a lot, and it’ll be over before you know it. No deep planning or technology integration required! Conference only! Bring on George Jetson!
5. Be dramatic
Play Ken Robinson and Shift Happens videos every 6-8 weeks to keep students on their toes and increase a sense of urgency in your classroom. When parents ask what students have learned in school, they will surely remember the video, play it on their iPhone and create an instant confirmation in the parents’ mind that good things are happening in your classroom.
6. Buy the iPad
iPads support mobile learning, allow access to hundreds of incredible apps, and make kids smile. If it is a 21St A classroom full of students pinching and zooming into small glass rectangles is the turn-of-the-century learning environment you’re looking for.
And lots of them. Download more than you use, to the point that your iPad can’t even update the ones you use because there’s no space left. Try for at least a 10:1 download-to-usage ratio here.
7. Have students blog
The blog is the new novel. (I read it on a blog.) It gives students an instant audience with millions of potential readers, allows for constant revision and revision of fluid text, and can even be viewed from space. Do it yesterday.
8. Go 1:1
That just sounds all technical. I feel like I could melt into the Matrix just typing this. Colon means one student per device. Curriculum limitations, bandwidth issues, or hindsight about the learning model and instructional design in your state are unlikely to mute the impact of 1:1. And even if it does, you can make the local newspaper because journalists don’t know the difference anyway.
9. Blend, blend, blend!
go all Kitchen utensils on your curriculum and mix it up until it is unrecognizable from what you taught 3 years ago.
Create short YouTube videos, key students with questions, and watch them all show up to the class chomping at the bit to make the magic happen. Ignore that many students who need ‘flips’ either lack access or the thinking habits to use them.
10. Add a column for ‘Creativity’ to each rubric
Creativity is the currency of the 21st century and the best way to ensure it is to give points for it. They will get with the program status. Rubrics change lives—and administrators love them.
And administrators also love 21st century learning.