What a 21st Century Higher Ed Classroom Should Keep in Mind


How a 21st Century Higher Ed Classroom Should Look Like

While doing my research about 21st century education I saw this video over the Internet.

The video clearly defines how a 21st century higher education should look like.

The 21st century higher education system has seen strong presence of technology in almost all aspect. Tech integration in higher education has indeed influenced the way student learn and professors teach. It has made learning interesting by engaging students in their studies.

21st Century Skills

21st century higher Ed classroom should embrace digital age technologies and help students to develop skills needed for 21st century.

Ashish Dhawan, Founder and CEO, Central Square Foundation, says, “Things are changing much more rapidly, people are switching jobs more often. So it’s very important to have certain core skills which are critical thinking skills, being very inquisitive having good writing in communication skills, being really good at connecting the dots. I think those are 21st century skills.”

So the 21st century higher Ed classroom must be a balanced classroom, where the emphasis should not be only on Science or Arts in particular. The emphasis should also be on skill development like collaboration, communication and writing skills, as these skills are what they will be able to make the most use of at the workforce.

Not just this, there are other skills that students must have in order to be successful in their professional life right after completing their college. I hope this video perfectly demonstrates entire set of 21st century skills.

21st Century Classroom Environment

These skills are required for everyone to enjoy a successful professional life in this century. Therefore, the classroom environment must like this so that it can support students to develop such skills.

In one of the LinkedIn discussions, where several education enthusiastic asked about how they you view 21st Century Classroom, Tiffany M Reiss, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO: TheHubEdu, says, “I see a boundless environment, where information and experience is exchanged, where discussions are vibrant and dialogue is robust. An environment, where learning and application of information are more important than a grade. Where instructors are now "mentors" and guide a student through the maze of information and provide some structure and some accountability but where peers also play a vital role in the process of learning for everyone as well.”

He further added, “An environment of mutual respect where lifelong learning is promoted and supported where everyone comes to learn and contribute something.”

One of the crucial point mentioned here is, the role of peer in the process of learning. Exactly, in the 21st century higher Ed classroom, students have the opportunity to take responsibility of their own learning and teachers to guide them side by side.

The emphasis is not on learning about technology but learning how to use technology for effective learning and skill development. In this environment, information and communication are the integral part of learning.

Now, let’s take a look on how a traditional classroom is different from the 21st century higher ed classroom; it will help you to get clearer picture of the 21st century higher Ed classroom.

Comparison between Traditional Classroom and 21st Higher Ed Century Classroom

Traditional Classroom

21st Century Higher Ed Classroom

No or less use of technology in the classroom.

Use of technology in the classroom to enhance engagement and make subject interesting.

This classroom includes textbooks, handouts, lectures and group work whiteboards.

And in 21st century, we have technology like:

Flip cameras, student responsive system, SMART interactive whiteboards, iPads, tablets, online assignments, more use of web technology.

Student works in isolation within four walls of classroom, so there is less encouragement for “thinking out of box”.

Whereas in 21st century higher Ed classroom, “thinking out of box” is encouraged by teachers that increase student engagement, decrease behavior issues, increase student achievement. 

Traditional classroom encourage text-driven study.

21st century higher Ed classroom emphasis on research-driven study.

Goal is good grades.

Goal is learning and developing 21st century skills required for the workforce.

The objective of 21st century higher education is to bring resource, experience, tools, and expertise positively in the classroom. Students are given personalized, authentic and timely learning environment to prepare them for tomorrow’s world.

What are your views?

About the Author
Author: Prasanna Bharti
Prasanna is a blogger by profession, and loves to write about education technology. Her write-ups intend to provide a deep insight about enormous resources and ideas available to make learning better and effective with the use of technology.

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