21st Century Learning Examples

In a 21st Century classroom, it is expected that students learn and understand many aspects of what would be considered is required for good global citizenship. In my research, I have found that social skills, effective problem solving, collaboration, reading and writing skills, and use of technology. Within my classroom I will aspire to incorporate the 6 key elements of a 21st century classroom in order to best allow my students to thrive.

Element One: Flexibility of Furniture and Space.

As a future high school english teacher, I plan to have traditional row seating within my classroom, although I intend to be flexible with such seating. I intend to move my seating as we vary throughout the different activities and lesson plans within the year. For example, after reading a piece of literature I would like for my students to break off in groups and analyze what they have read together, allowing for collaboration and implementation of different interpretations and ideas. I also intend to utilize the idea of not incorporating seating charts in my classroom. Through my experience as a student at the high school level, I feel that seating charts can impair a student’s enthusiasm in the classroom. I want my students to understand that they are responsible for their own actions and give them liberties as a positive reinforcement. If this reward is taken advantage of, I will then implement seating charts. 

Element Two: Collaborative and Independent Learning.

When I will implement collaborative learning in my classroom, I plan to allow students to move around the room and learn from one another. I find that it can be incredibly beneficial for students to use peer-teaching to learn and benefit from one another’s thoughts surrounding a subject. This will be used through different assignments as well as a couple exams as I feel it will greatly benefit my students. In my personal college algebra class, the entire course was designed collaboratively. Every assignment and exam was done within your group, although the independent option was allowed. As someone who has struggled with the subject for a very long time, I highly benefited from my peers' instruction and explanation as all people learn differently. Although I will not be an entirely collaborative teacher, I intend to implement this learning style for around half of my assignments. 

Element Three: Embracing Movement. 

In a high school english class setting, it is hard to incorporate movement in the classroom. I intend to do so through presentations as well as an open discussion system involving a podium. During discussions about interpretations of different literature, I will encourage one student to stand at the podium to discuss their thoughts, and the class can discuss it in this fashion. I feel that this will greatly benefit my students as it will allow them to be more in tune with the conversation. I also hope to have the ability to use exercise balls as chairs in my classroom, although it will be a privilege and not a right. 

Element Four: Inspiration and Creativity.

I plan to use technology to allow my students a bit of creative freedom in their work. It can be difficult for students to purchase materials for things such as projects, so I will allow technology to be used in many ways in order to prevent those troubles. I will also be sure to have colorful decorations and walls as I want to encourage creativity as well as give a more safe atmosphere to my classroom. Plant within the classroom is another part of what I feel can spark inspiration. Although it may seem small, giving my students the freedom to choose plants for the class at the beginning of the year and keep them responsible for the livelihood of said plants can encourage them to feel welcome as well as increase a sense of importance in the classroom. 

Element Five: Technology.

In my future school I hope that technology will be provided for all students. With this, I intend to utilize google classroom and other resources to engage students as well as give them a way to do schoolwork in all environments. By doing this, students will be able to see things more clearly and provide them with concrete data as to when assignments are due and open access to resources. 

Element Six: Bright and Inviting. 

Continuing the idea of having plants in the classroom, these will require growing lights which I feel are a bright and inviting addition to the room. I also plan to avoid the overhead fluorescent lighting and use lamps and other forms of light to better increase productivity and involvement in the class.  Because of this lighting, I feel that my students will have a higher level of alertness and productivity in the class, while also feeling more comfortable. 


21st Century learning expectations. Malden High School. (2015, September 29). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://maldenps.org/high/student-life/academics/21st-century-learning-expectations/ 

21st Century learning expectations. Westport Community Schools. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.westportschools.org/our-schools/westport-middle-school/21st-century-learning-expectations 

Staff, T. T. (2023, February 9). 4 essential rules of 21st-century learning. TeachThought. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.teachthought.com/learning/rules-of-21st-century-learning/