Teaching and Learning in the 21st century
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Teaching and Learning in the 21st century


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In the current digital world, students are prone to a fast-paced environment which is different from the traditional lecture-based classroom (Kay & Lauricella, 2011). Teachers are therefore considering their student's abilities and facilitate learning experience accordingly to mould students in order to bring out their potential. They are required to have a shift in their thought process. From content delivery, the focus of the teachers has shifted to a student engagement in the content allowing the quicker delivery of the content (Pettigrew, Miller-Day, Shin, Hecht, Krieger, & Graham, 2013).  From a one-size fits all approach this offers a personalized option for students. Apart from face-to-face interaction, there is a growing trend towards supplementary activities through online platforms.


In the 21st century, the key skills required are categorized based on the three Rs – rigor, relevance, and real-world skills. These include the higher order of learning and thinking, technical knowledge and leadership skills (Chuang, 2013). Further, technology advancement and interconnectivity has given rise to the need for cultural awareness and social responsibility skills. Thus, 21st century learners are required to possess self-direction and an ability to collaborate with people and machines (Pacific Policy Research Center, 2010). This leads to a higher degree of emphasis on the outcomes of their activities. Hence, the 21st century students have to inculcate critical thinking and develop high quality outcomes to success in the global marketplace. To accomplish these skills, students have to involve in a new idea generation, evaluation, analysis of the content and application of the gained knowledge to their past experiences. Such a process is achieved through the shift in the instruction methods (Dunlosky, Rawson, Marsh, Nathan, & Willingham, 2013). 

According to technologist Marc Prensky, 'technology helps 21st century students learn because they can make it do what they need' (McCoog, 2008). The learners' request for meaningful experience when compared to the previous generations as they have complete knowledge of the skills required to enhance their competency at the educational level as well as the global labour market. They are millennials who consider digital technology as their birth right and expect the teachers to incorporate the same in their learning process.

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