What Does it Mean to Be a 21st Century Teacher?

It is no secret that more and more students are becoming disengaged in the classroom.  For teachers to keep their students focused for a whole class is like pulling teeth; and why wouldn’t it be?  Many schools are not effectively transitioning to the progressive, technology-infused society we live in today.

Keeping students engaged is the single-most important component a teacher must master.  Once they have the students engaged, it is essential that teachers provide the proper tools needed to broaden their students’ knowledge as well as help them explore new concepts and ideas.

Since students are already familiar with the advancing technology of the 21st century, it only makes sense that teachers should strive to incorporate it into their lesson plans.  Technology in the classroom will encourage students to follow the 4 C’s that are becoming more prominent in our society: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

Technology’s manifestation in the 21st century has made millions of jobs easier, and has the potential to make a teacher’s job easier.  With so much information and so many educational tools available to us, it is easier for students to be more creative and authentic when completing assignments.  For example, when asked to summarize a chapter of a book, technology allows them to create storybooks that can be shared around the world, rather than typing a summary or making a poster.

Since students have the ability to engage with technology more than ever before, teachers should no longer be the focal point of the classroom; they should be a conduit – a guide and facilitator — for their students.  Teachers should equip students with key ideas and concepts, and allow the student to explore the subject more broadly and deeply.

In order for a teacher to be successful in the 21st century, they must be aware of both the 21st century needs of students, and the 21st century need for technology.

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