Despite now being well into the 21st century, the majority of school classrooms are still very much set up for teaching last century. Even with technological improvements like data projectors, audio and visual systems and lighting control the overall model of the classroom has not changed much in the last 100 years.
They are basically designed for teacher centred, individual focused teaching methods that lack flexibility and are not conducive to group collaboration. Blackboard or whiteboard at the front, with students desks all facing the front of the room. This is the model we have become accustomed to, but is it still the best model for 21st century learning?
Students and teachers are finding this style of room increasingly restrictive with the 21st century curriculum.
What are the characteristics of a 21st century learner?
- Technology literate and adept
- Media savvy
- Flexible and dynamic
- Strong multitasking skills
- Communicators and collaborators
- Interactive and networked
- Reflective and critical
- Creative and adaptive
- Student centric, life long learners & anywhere anytime learners
- Have Multimodal learning styles
A 21st century classroom needs to cater to these characteristics to ensure learners are being given the opportunity to be taught in a way that not only appreciates the way they learn, but also sets them up for 21st century workplaces.
What does a 21st century classroom look like?
Picture a classroom designed for group collaboration, but with the flexibility to be rearranged with ease for individual work, presentations and communication. There needs to be space for quiet work, for small group discussions and a space for educators and learners to report, discuss, plan and teach.
Classrooms need to be networked and include high speed internet for media streams, video conferencing, upload and download of work, research and media production. A 21st century learner needs to be supported in anywhere, anytime learning pursuits and have the ability to share their work and view others material with ease.
The new classroom design needs fluidity and flexibility with multiple systems which are easily linked and controlled - both by teacher as well as allowing students to connect.
This new model is a game changer. It means rethinking the way educators teach and will of course involve a major redesign and therefore funding fitouts of classrooms that have only seen minor facelifts in their lifetime. But are the advantages for learners worth the time and expense? With a changing world it seems that adapting to meet the new way learners are taught is inevitable.
Talk to us about taking your learning spaces into 21st Century.
GM Sales and Marketing