Educators as 21st Century Learners

There’s no question I am deeply passionate about meeting the needs of today’s learners through the creation of a ‘this century’ classroom. I really appreciate how @AmyHeavin shared on the Fractus Learning site (and Twitter) why educators need to be 21st Century Learners too. We hear colleagues talk about their PLN’s and how social media has changed their lives. We hear key buzz words used to demonstrate their understanding of change and transformation, and yet with all of that, what does the classroom really look like? Where is there proof that today’s learners are walking into classrooms they can’t wait to get to?

If I were to walk through your classroom would I see authentic collaboration between students? Would there be a boundless flow of student creativity being shared and honored? Would critical thinking and problem-solving be a natural part of the learning environment? Would I see proof of  student responsibility and accountability for their own learning? What would the classroom environment look like? And, how would students be measured or assessed?

We all want our students to master the skills and objectives taught in the classroom. We masterfully craft all sorts of expectations to set them up for success. We challenge them to be experts with technology. We create places and spaces for collaboration and creativity to take place. And the list goes on and on. But if we really believe in all of this and want it to happen, then we must model for our students. If we won’t take risks then why should they? If we won’t practice what we ‘preach’ then why should they? If we have not bought into transforming classrooms then why should we expect student learning to be transformed?

Bottomline~if we are going to teach 21st century learners, then all of us need to make certain we know the commitment, knowledge and time involved in doing just that.

 “It is impossible to teach 21st Century Learners if you have not learned this century.” (Gary Stager)


4 thoughts on “Educators as 21st Century Learners

  1. I think that it’s great for teachers to have PLN’s, but what about students having PLN’s in the classroom.
    I love reading your blogs.

  2. Students truly learn from example. Our task is to give them opportunities to take risks, to transform, and even to lead us as teachers. Thank you encouraging that kind of teaching at White Oak ISD.

    • Changing our style of teaching “from moons ago” is a huge transformation, but it’s definitely best for our students. When children discuss concepts, use critical and higher order thinking skills, face open-ended questions, and actually TEACH one another, they have more opportunities to convey that they’ve truly mastered the skills being taught.

      It does take extra time to plan, prepare, and locate, or create, engaging lessons, but aren’t our students worth it?

      Thanks for such a great article!

  3. Well said, Mitzi. I made the comment not along ago to one of my colleagues that if we are only seeking out what makes us feel comfortable, then we are not moving forward or transforming the landscape of our classrooms or schools.

Leave a Reply to Cindy Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *