The evolved 21st century classroom is a productive environment in which students can develop the skills they will require in the workplace and teachers are facilitators of their learning. The focus of a 21st century classroom is on students experiencing the environment they will enter as modern day workers and developing their higher order thinking skills, effective communication skills, collaboration skills, making them adept with using technology and all other skills that they will need in the 21st century workplace.
The educational practices of the traditional classroom are no longer effective and teachers must develop new teaching strategies that are radically different from those employed in the traditional classrooms. The modern day classroom should be more centered on students and teachers should take the role of facilitators and guides instead of being mere providers of knowledge. They must ensure that they engage their students in learning and provide effective instruction using a variety of instructional methods and following different pedagogical approaches aided with technology. They should be active participants in their own learning and must seek out professional development to improve their performance and their students’ learning. Some Benefits are:
Student-centric: In these classrooms, students play an active role in their learning and teachers serve as mere guides. They are more facilitators of learning than lecturers. They help students think critically and learn by doing and act as a resource while their students discover and master new concepts. Student-centric classroom environments put students’ interests first and are focused on each student’s needs, abilities and learning styles.
Computing devices: Computers are readily available in modern classrooms, since they are essential tools for 21st century students and replace the utilities of pen and paper. They not only give students the means to conduct online research and master the technology skills they need, but they also give teachers the opportunity to enhance their lessons. The ability to deftly operate a computer is a critical 21st century skill. Computing devices greatly assist in teaching and learning and make them more engaging and effective.
Active learning: In modern classrooms, students are actively engaged in what they learn. Students participate in more active learning by working in groups or on computers and complete projects and other interesting activities that help them discover new skills. Students can learn actively by talking and listening, writing, reading and reflecting. When students are encouraged to take an active interest in learning, they are more likely to retain the knowledge they’ve accumulated.
Adaptive learning: Any classroom will always have students of different types of learning abilities in it which often makes it difficult for teachers to make sure that all of them understand the concepts. The modern approach of adaptive learning gives students the freedom to learn at their own pace and in the way they are most comfortable with. There are various kinds of software available for adaptive learning that teachers can use to enhance the learning of their students.
Invitational environment: The classrooms should not be cramped or overcrowded. Modern classrooms should have the basic material required for teaching such as, interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors. The BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) approach can be adopted, so that students can bring their laptops or tablets to the classroom for better personalized learning. Teaching with technological material is more effective, stimulates student engagement, eases the work of teachers and makes it easy for students to focus on learning.