It was 1995, and I was in my senior year of high school. In Government class, we listened as the teacher talked about the topic of the day and took notes from the chalkboard.  Then to Calculus where the teacher instructed us and then watched as volunteers showed their work on the board. Communication was one way, and group projects were considered a way for students to cheat. Digital technology was rarely available, and the internet didn’t exist in our rural district.

Fast forward to this week in my classroom.  As new students arrived in my class, I used technology to greet them and explain the course.  We moved on to a group activity to get the collaborative spirit of the class initiated. As everyone talked and shared ideas, the classroom buzzed. I moved around the room facilitating, but not leading, the conversation.  Then the students completed a Google Form to introduce themselves so the class recipes and activities can be purposefully planned.

I’ve been exploring 21st Century Learning, and it has encouraged a lot of comparisons between my learning 24+ years ago and now.  “The term “21st-century skills” is generally used to refer to certain core competencies such as collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today’s world”(Rich, 2010). After really ruminating on what it means and how it appears in my classroom I created the following presentation to show my understanding.

Of course, there are also a lot of ways that I need to improve the use of 21st Century Learning.  The idea that learning should have context and have applications outside of the classroom (Nichols, 2017) stands out as a starting point.   I see a lot of 21st Century improvements happening in my future.


Nichols, J. (2017). 4 Essential Rules Of 21st Century Learning. [online] TeachThought. Available at: [Accessed 31 Jan. 2019].

Rich, E. (2010). How Do You Define 21st-Century Learning? – Education Week. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Feb. 2019]

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