Edutopia came out with this article yesterday, feel free to read it here. In this, a teacher is describing what elements need to be showing up, and what elements should be highlighted in a 21st century classroom. Simply by looking at the picture housed below, I immediately knew that it was not enough!

Changing the physical layout, and demeanor of your classroom are good steps, but not the change that is needed to be a great 21st century teacher. Being great, requires large change. Here is my vision for a 21st century classroom.

Competency Based Instruction
This is something that is a moonshot of mine. I feel that the current system of education was built for teachers, not students. It is not realistic to think that students will walk into a school at 8:00 and be ready to learn. Schools need to host curriculum that does not require the teacher to stand at the front of the room and drone at students. Teachers need to be knowledgeable enough, and flexible enough to deliver material to many different levels, through multiple modes. Students need to drive their learning and take ownership of the work that they are completing. All of these elements are founded in creating curriculum that allows for choice, is grounded in creation, and is assessed using well constructed rubrics. 

Blended Learning Model
The blended learning model is a continuum. One one end is the traditional classroom and on the other is online learning. Blended learning is the happy medium between the two. You could classify this is a flipped learning or Project Based Learnig... There are many possibilities to the titles that this model falls under. The key here is to be leveraging online learning to make your classroom time more efficient, and better. You will reap the benefits of having students dive deeper into knowledge, then they have before, and teachers will enjoy the time you gain by combining the efforts. 

Digital Support
This element plays itself into both of the items above. Students need to have the support that they can guide themselves through, or use to reach immediate help if needed. These items can be simple things like screenshots, short videos, or even podcasts of the lessons you are delivering. They should also include video chatting tools, text messaging options, or social media connections. These items reflect the world that our students are living in, and we are constantly trying to shut them out of schools. Teach them how to use them properly, and reap the benefits of using them for learning. 

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