Learning Re-Defined In The 21st Century


Learning Re-Defined In The 21st Century

The days are over when people had to depend on libraries and the times when learning was bound to attending lectures and being present physically at all the times. We have stepped into a millennium where things are rapidly changing. The world of technology

 has re-defined learning in the 21st century.

In this article we cover the technological practices in the educational world which are expected to take over our conventional way of learning by storm, mainly due to the availability and widespread of wireless and mobile technologies.

Though in a country like India, talking about such a huge change looks too futuristic. But as we gradually step into more seamless connectivity through availability of internet, we would slide towards a better and collaborative type of learning environment where the gap between the teacher and learner would be marginal. Moreover providing education without any physical infrastructure would enable many underprivileged to take advantage of this type of learning.

We believe the main change that will happen in teaching and learning in 2013 will be about empowerment. Teachers and learners will be more empowered to take charge of their learning in the 21st century.

The basic definition and the way learning is pursued, is going to touch new heights. Learning through experience, an old way of life is being redefined in a way never thought of. Learning would involve the out of book approach of “being involved” and learn by experiences.  Teachers through their expanded personal learning networks (PLN) via social media would be involved in expressing their own journeys and results paving a concept where stories could be said and heard. Thus enabling learners to get the most out of them by not repeating the same set of mistakes in their journey. The scope of people working and collaborating for a single project from different parts of the world will rope in more innovative ideas and technological advancements.

Students love technology and specially the mobile devices (smartphones). Smartphones have revolutionized our communication process and are in the scenes to drive a change which would change the way our learning culture has been till now. The pace of learning differs from one person to other, so deploying “adaptive” learning environment based on the learning & performance capabilities of individual learners is becoming a must. The learner can personalize and evaluate the best way one learns and access various learning resources zeroing on the best and appropriate tool individualistically, this is what is needed and visioned in the 21st century. More and more schools and educational institutes in the developed nations are supporting the “BYOD” concept of learning bringing in a fun factor.

The teachers today are well aquainted with these 21st century skills, have started collaborating and discussing the best practises in education with educators across th globe. By expanding the means of their own learning, they have started adopting the best and practical methods of teaching into their environments enabling the students to learn easy and better. For instance communities like Community of Practice on Personalized Learning and Communities of Practice in My eCoach are there for schools and organizations who want to discuss, learn, and share ideas about personalizing learning online. It is seen that such communities would expand their geographical targets moving their focus towards developing nations in the near future.

The 21st century learners will have an equal say in how they wish to learn. The teachers and learners will collaboratively regulate and drive the learning process. This may take some time and initially the teacher-centred system of today would be made to look obsolete, shifting the focus from the traditional or legacy approach of teaching and learning to a newer inquisitiveness based learning to open doors to more creativity and flexibility in learning. 

The paradigm shift from conventional learning to personalized learning is gradually expanding. People have been discussing if is it about technology or not? 2013 and the coming years will be the years where a lot of discussions would happen over personalized teaching and learning using technology. We expect the adoption of few of the best practices even in the developing nations like India.

About the Author
Author: Dhiraj Singh

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EdTechReview (ETR) is a community of and for everyone involved in education technology to connect and collaborate both online and offline to discover, learn, utilize and share about the best ways technology can improve learning, teaching, and leading in the 21st century.

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