What do we mean by the “21st century classroom?”
The 21st century classroom reflects the growth and changes we have seen in a society. This modern classroom should be an open environment with a positive learning atmosphere that best allows students to thrive. This classroom needs to be receptive to different learning styles and teaching styles. The 21st century classroom utilizes technology in a helpful way to assist the teacher and the students grow as learners. Because our world is constantly changing and is increasingly digital, it is necessary to equip students with the tools needed to be diligent and understanding in society. This classroom can have the ability to learn virtually and be able to view and interact with sites, resources, and people. This classroom can be a wealth of information and a global learning environment. The 21st century classroom, I believe, doesn’t fully exist yet because not all students have the opportunity to benefit from this idea. Once all students have an equal footing going into school and receive equal benefits in the classroom, the 21st century classroom can exist
How do we apply technology tools in ways so that we can more easily achieve meaningful teaching and learning in the 21st century?
We can apply technology in our classrooms meaningfully if we teach it to be a tool as well as the privilege it is. We, as teachers, need to strive to ensure that all students have the access to equal learning opportunities. By making sure there are plenty of opportunities within the classroom for practice and experience with technology, we can ensure that students who lack these materials at home are still gaining a meaningful learning experience. Also by having resources available for borrowing (although this is dependent on the school board/district) would help students practice on their own. We can also apply technology tools to invite experts into our classroom via Skype to make real world connections (aka answering the age old question of “when am I ever going to need this after I graduate?”) and interact with other students, teachers, and experts through social media. Encouraging student use of online databases and other resources can allow students to interact with the subject and be able to see primary documents/sources that previously were only housed in a library or museum. Using technology in the classroom can increase the levels of thinking and understanding for students, as well as help students with disabilities.