21st Century Learner

Topics: Education, 21st century, School Pages: 5 (1571 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Changes In The 21st Century Learning

How can 21st century students be expected to function in a 21st century world, with a 20th century education? It may be easy for some students, but for the majority of the student population, the present style of teaching is no longer relevant to their needs. This being said, most students have a new way of looking at the world, as the world itself now looks different than it did when those teaching methods were created. Education should be restructured to reflect the 21st century learners, to enhance the intellectual capital of Canada through adapting teaching styles to the modern mindset , logical incorporation of technology, and increased variety of courses to reflect today’s job markets. Students of the 21st century are accustomed to fast paced information intake through technology and media, creating a distance between the student and the teachings. This distance grouped with the lack of variety in course selection leaves the majority of students unprepared for the real world. Adapting Teaching Styles to the 21st Century Mindset:

New technology and media have an outrageous effect on the students of the 21st century. This draws their interests and focus away from the standardized education system to a more modern approach of communicating (Niess, Margaret). Students are more accustomed to the style in which media portrays information to them, which are not often represented in a classroom setting. Strategies used by teachers in this day and age should be reconstructed to adapt to the 21st century learners through mimicking the media, and portraying information the way media does (Bitner, Noel). Incorporating media and relating lessons and ideas to relevant points in a student’s life is an effective communication method. Nowadays, students have a short attention span, and have a lot of different learning styles. Majority of students are visually focused, meaning their learning is driven by pictures, diagrams, timelines, and movies (Stanford, Pokey). Whereas verbal or musically-rhythmic learners are motivated by written or spoken explanation, and performed through sounds (Yan, Jeffrey). Although many learn through eyes and ears, some learn using touch to solve problems and understand the workings of various ideas. Teachers should have a variety of teaching styles reflecting the needs of the students (Bitner, Noel). Once teachers have the student’s attention, which in fact could be grabbed by technology or media, colour and action, they will be able to focus on the curriculum and absorb the knowledge more easily and effectively. Improved Access to Technology:

With smartphones and laptops now in classrooms, the opportunity for students to be distracted from their “same old same old” lessons and focus on 21st century media is all too easy. Whereas if these technological devices were being used on a daily basis, students wouldn’t feel the need to use them for non-classroom activities, during classroom hours. Along these lines, students are in constant use of social networking such as Facebook and Twitter, so incorporating these tools into classroom communication ensures that students will be up-to-date. It creates easy access to information since students will be using those individual portals anyway. Social networking will also allow students to express themselves in a familiar way. Furthermore, ensuring the technology and software being incorporated into these classrooms is up-to-date is crucial. Old software limits the engagement of students’ learning capabilities as well as limits the understanding of the modern technology. It is essential for students to have the proper equipment and resources in order to develop and increase their intellectual capital. Increased Variety of Course Selection:

The standardized and mandatory classes provided in today’s school system cover only the most basic knowledge required for careers in today’s job market. These...
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