21st Century Classroom

Things do not change; we change. — Henry David Thoreau


Click these links for info on 21st century classroom concepts and frameworks!

Excerpt from The Connected Educator (2012),

by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall:

“Every time I go to school, I have to power down,” a high school student told researchers. This riveting statement, quoted by 21st century learning advocate Marc Prensky (2001, p. 7), has been cited thousands of times in magazine articles, books, blogs, speeches, and slideshows. Most of us would agree that kids do have to power down when they come to school. The most disturbing aspect of this quote, however, is that Prensky cited this cautionary message more than a decade ago. Yet it remains relevant in far too many schools right now. Do high school students feel any differently today than that student did at the turn of the millennium? In some trailblazing schools, yes, they do. But many observers, inside and outside education, still ask, as edublogger Ryan Bretag did in 2007, “Will we ever reach a point where students say, ‘When I go to school, I have to power up'?”

The Disconnect

With the advent of social media, learning occurs anytime, anywhere, and students regularly pursue knowledge in networked and collaborative ways— with or without us. Emerging web technologies connect young people in ways never before possible. They learn from each other outside the classroom through smartphones, text messaging, and social networking sites such as blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Google+, and Flickr—the list grows longer every day.

The big question is, What impact does the growth of social media have on learning inside the classroom? Think about it. Students are growing up in an environment where they control the flow of information, how they receive it, and the format in which it comes to them—all with the click of a few buttons. Today's children have grown up with remote control everything, constant communication, and instant access to information in entertaining formats. It's as if they are wired into existence through their mobile technologies, no longer tethered, but instead operating as free-range learners. They passionately consume media and are riveted to the things that interest them online. Their world encourages connectedness. They expect a continuous connection with their family and friends and the world at large.

To see how fast things changed in two years, visit this video

“Did You Know 3.0?”:

Our Progress

How are our schools adopting 21st century classroom frameworks? In the coming months we hope to evaluate each of our schools 21st century technology adoption.

Color will indicate each schools adoption level. No color means assessment



The teacher uses technology to deliver curriculum content to students.


The teacher encourages adaptation of tool-based software by allowing students to select a tool and modify its use to accomplish the task at hand.


The teacher cultivates a rich learning environment, where blending choice of technology tools with student-initiated investigations,

discussions,compositions, or projects, across any content area, is promoted.



Gossler Park

Green Acres


Highland Goffs-Falls





Smyth Road












Milton Chen

Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Emeritus, The George Lucas Educational Foundation;

"Twenty-first-century learning builds upon such past conceptions of learning as “core knowledge in subject areas” and recasts them for today’s world, where a global perspective and collaboration skills are critical.

The Internet, which has enabled instant global communication and access to information, likewise holds the key to enacting a new educational system, where students use information at their fingertips and work in teams to accomplish more than what one individual can alone, mirroring the 21st-century workplace.

To see how relevent online media is to todays students, visit this video

"Did You Know 2011- Welcome To The Social Media Revolution":

Everywhere they go, students are moving toward the future at full speed. For example, Sheryl's daughter has a new car that talks to her, adjusts the interior lighting when the brightness outside changes, and even parks itself. The global GPS network makes sure no one gets lost. She can simply tap into it using one of many devices, including smartphones. Then our kids get to school and find themselves locked in the past. Bells signal the beginning and end of class, cell phones must be off, desks are in straight rows, teachers lecture on and on, and paper textbooks are filled with preselected information presented in a convergent, linear format. No wonder students feel a disconnect.

Each year through its “Speak Up” surveys, Project Tomorrow documents the increasingly significant disparity between students' aspirations for using technology for learning and the attitudes of their less technology-comfortable teachers and administrators (Project Tomorrow, 2010). Students, regardless of community demographics, socioeconomic backgrounds, gender, or grade, tell researchers that the lack of sophisticated use of emerging technology tools in school is holding back their education and, in many instances, disengaging them from learning.

Although the technological revolution has permeated every other area of society, education—often viewed as a reflection of our culture and values—has been left largely untouched. Schools have mostly resisted the potential of wireless connectivity to shift away from teacher-centered pedagogy. The networked landscape of learning that is readily available to many students and adults outside of school challenges us to re-envision what we do inside our schools and classrooms—or risk a growing irrelevance in students' lives.

Nussbaum-Beach, Sheryl; Ritter Hall, Lani (2011-11-01). The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age (Kindle Locations 183-193). Ingram Distribution. Kindle Edition.