What is a 21st Century Classroom?
- It is a classroom that brings in 21st Century skills, including digital literacy, and creates an experience that is student centric with limitless technological tools at the fingertips of you and your students. (Read here to get a quick summary of 21st Century Skills)
- It is a classroom led by a 21st Century Teacher. That is, a teacher who is willing to take risks, collaborate with others, let students lead, and much more (Educational Oragami)
- It is ultimately unique: Will you use a Wiki, a blog, online discussion, video, audio, websites, social media, Google apps, project based learning, flipped classrooms, Web 2.0, etc? Sure, pick one, pick all and start implementing it in a way that is pushing your comfort zone and most importantly, that you feel is educationally worthwhile.
My 21st Century Classroom is project based. I have online discussions, student produced videos online, Google Docs, and social media all in play. Every year I add something new and I frequently take out something that has become stale. This is for me to decide. The goal is for my students to be the best they can be. I have a class website, but it tends to sit with very little use, mostly as a repository for useful documents that rarely change. Here is a list of the top 5 tools I use almost every week:
- Edmodo - class discussions and so much more
- Google Docs - Create documents, share documents, collaborate
- Schooltube - Post and moderate student videos to share with the world
- Bit.ly - Simplify those long tedious links AND get stats on how many people click them
- Twitter - Amazing place to send out info, photos, and links, AND a great place to learn!
This is just my current list. It does not include the dozens to hundreds of website my students and I use for research, online tools, email, etc.
I welcome you to share what you are already doing and to consider the very distinct possibility that if you take this on, it will not only make education more enjoyable and more rewarding, it will also succeed in making your classroom a place where students learn more in a way that matters.