While 21st century learning is now more student-focused than teacher-focused, the role of the teacher and their influence in the learning environment does not diminish.
That said, the 21st century classroom does not just benefit the students, but the teachers as well. Teachers have more creative freedom with lesson plans, waste less time during classroom transitions.
Let’s take a look at how specifically the 21st century classroom benefits teachers and transforms learning.
1. Teachers have more creative freedom in their lesson plans
In the past decades, teachers have had to constrict lesson plans because there weren’t as many ways to utilize the classroom space.
Students’ desks and chairs were stationary, lined up in rows, students facing the front of the classroom. This left the chalkboard as one of the only tools at the teacher’s disposal.
Now, the 21st century teacher can cultivate lesson plans that involve moving desks and chairs via the caster wheels. They have the option of scheduling individual and group work one after the other.
It’s even possible to create more individualized and project-based learning, with some students working at classroom desks, others involved in group work, etc. The age of textbooks open on a desk in neat rows for 6-8 hours per day is a thing of the past.
21st century furniture in the classroom helps instill this personalized learning and makes it possible for learner-centered classrooms to occur.
Because of the furniture’s mobility and versatility, teachers can now add collaborative lesson plans to their arsenal.
2. Less time is wasted in the classroom
Since the furniture is more durable and utilizes caster wheels, transitions can be done with ease in a couple of minutes.
Also, teachers don’t have to lose time admonishing and monitoring behavior problems, as 21st century furniture, such as standing desks, aids in productivity and engagement.
Educators may have more time and less hassle in the learning environment, being able to add more time to lessons and class activities.
3. The teaching role is more multifaceted
Now that educators are not restricted to stand at the front of the class, ruler in hand, tapping at the chalkboard, their increased mobility in the learning space has also lead to a multi-dimensional role.
Educators are not just teachers.
They are guiders and facilitators during collaborative group work and discussion.
Since learning is now more individualized and project-based, educators have now become more of a resource, showing students where and how to look for project resources.
With the advent and instillation of technology in the classroom, teachers are now masters of technology.
This role is particularly useful because more and more children are introduced to technology at a young age.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2013, 71 percent of the United States population were using technology at 3 years of age.
As technology experts, teachers can instruct children about apps, Internet safety, surfing the web, blogging and the power of going digital.
For instance, pen pals via email can be a great way for educators to teach their students about email, communication, and culture—This can be a great start in teaching students the fundamentals of technology in their ever-increasing, technology savvy world.
Educators can even begin to teach students the basics of coding.
The 21st century learning environment has benefited educators, increasing their creative freedom with lesson plans; reducing behavior problems, hence less time being wasted; and making their roles more multifaceted—teacher, group facilitator, technology expert and resource.
How has the new learning environment affected your teaching style? Or, if you’re not a teacher, have you noticed a change in teaching styles?
What are the benefits? Can you add to the list?
Let us know in the comment section below.