It is the 21st Century; so by default, all teachers that currently teach are 21st Century teachers. However, what differs across schools is how each teacher is utilising the remarkable technology we have at our disposal. Part of the job, as a 21st Century Teacher, is to best equip the learners of today for their future; therefore it is essential teachers have the necessary skills and understanding necessary to maximise the possibilities that exist in our ever increasingly digital world.
There is not an argument disputing the fact that the potential for teaching and learning in the 21st century has undergone a paradigmatic shift. However, as I have experienced first-hand, that potential is being unfulfilled in many classrooms where, in reality, not much has changed since the days of the ’19th Century Teacher’.
It is imperative, therefore, that today’s teachers understand and embrace technology. It would be incredibly unfair if we ignored the mobile learning opportunities on offer to our classrooms and overlooked the huge transformations and potential impact on education they allow. Additionally, 21st Century Teachers should not neglect the incredible resources available that help us to teach students how these devices work and how the algorithms that underpin them came to light.
21st Century teachers should ensure they have the digital skills that allow a redefinition of learning to happen. It is also imperative that 21st Century teachers adapt their teaching practices to the developing learning needs of their students. Our students have grown up in a digitally focused world in which using and engaging with technology is second nature. So, whatever we want to call ourselves – we ARE 21st century educators, like it or not, and we must adapt our teaching accordingly.