Learning in the 21st century: What does it mean to you?

Every day I read or hear about a new tool, app, web site, kit, toy, or device that is reported to have a significant impact on student learning. Actually… none do. The way they are used… might.

So-called “21st century skills” (such as collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking) have been arbitrarily chosen… and they existed long before the new century. These skills, and many others, have always been important in education.

However, the ever growing potential to use powerful technologies to facilitate thinking and share learning is empowering, invaluable, irresistible. So, to me, learning in the “21st century” means that students are learning how to effectively use technology to better think, create, analyze, learn, and share.

Of course there are many people far more eloquent than I:

Thanks for reading this post! It was part of a #peel21st blog hop that transpired on November 18, 2014.  Please take a look at the other posts in this hop.  Each author had to respond to the question “Learning in the 21st Century – What does it mean to you?” in about 100 words.

Susan Campo
Jim Cash
Shivonne Lewis-Young
Greg Pearson
Phil Young
James Nunes
Donald Campbell
Ken Dewar
Graham Whisen
Heather Lye
Lynn Filliter
Debbie Axiak
Alicia Quennell
Jonathan So
Jim Blackwood
Jason Richea
Tina Zita
Sean Coroza

6 thoughts on “Learning in the 21st century: What does it mean to you?

Add yours

  1. Jim, you are so right that in today’s world it is about how students are using the technology to better facilitate their learning (to think, create, analyze, learn, and share). I especially like the sharing part. We are a lot better as a collective. I wonder though being that the world is constantly changing are there still certain skill sets that need to be taught for this to happen? If so what are they? and how do we as teachers facilitate the learning? Thanks again for sharing your ideas.

  2. I like your phrase, “the ever-growing potential.” Isn’t it amazing how much (and how quickly) technology is granting us greater access to think, create, analyze, etc.? As a personal example, I have often felt that I have a creative mind, but lack the skill set to produce creative art. Recently, I have taken an interest in photography — a hobby which, even 10 years ago would have be more or less a waste of film. But now, with a simple digital SLR camera (taking hundreds of photos), and some basic photo editing software, I can produce a collection of shots that not only am I quite proud of, but might even pass for artistic! This is just one example of how technology has allowed me to express my creativity in ways that were inaccessible to me previously.

    Thanks for your post!

  3. I think the learning how is really important and understanding that when you are using tech to support student learning the “what they are using” isn’t the important thing.

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