A 21st century classroom incorporates modern technology into lessons to enhance students’ learning and prepare them for a future in our tech-driven world. 21st century classrooms dive extensively into STEM topics, but also apply technology throughout all disciplines.

What is a 21st century classroom?

Technology affects virtually every aspect of our lives at this point, which is why it is so important to make sure it is included in school from an early age.

Here are some of the most important signs of a 21st century classrooms. Incorporating these things into your classroom is an excellent way to make sure students are prepared not only for the next step in their education, but also for their future careers and life in general. (video below)

What you’ll learn beyond the basics of a 21st century classroom:
  • 21st century classroom layout
  • 21st century classroom environment
  • 21st century classroom definition
  • 21st century classroom technology
  • 21st century classroom skills
  • 21st century classroom design


Working in groups is an important component of many jobs in today’s economy, and it’s important that students are able to collaborate effectively.

A classroom with a collaborative environment encourages students to be creative and support each other as they work through problems. It also encourages students to deal with opinions and ideas that are different from their own and deal with these conflicts maturely.

Hands-on lessons

Immersive lessons are key to the modern classroom, not just for science classes, but for all types of lessons. These hands-on lessons give kinetic learners an opportunity to really absorb the material, and they give all students a great chance to dive deeper into the concepts they are learning in class. Hands-on learning often results in better understanding and strong connections to real world learning.

Creativity in learning

Creativity is another key to success in the modern workplace, and 21st century classrooms start cultivating their students’ creativity at a very early age. They provide a variety of opportunities for students to express themselves creatively, and to use their creative ideas to solve problems and develop relationships.

Creativity has long been encouraged as part of the arts and humanities studies, but it is equally important for success in science and math.

Assess work transparently

In order for students to make progress, it’s important that they get clear feedback on their work. They also need to know exactly how they are going to be evaluated so they can adequately prepare. This means using rubrics to provide a more detailed assessment of projects and and tests. When students have a good understanding of their academic standing, it’s easier for them to work towards goals and progress.

Inquiry based lessons

Modern classrooms also use an inquiry based approach in their lessons, which means:
  • Each lesson is based around answering a question
  • Students are encouraged to think about their studies in an open-minded way
  • Students can develop new ideas around a given topic independently

These inquiries can be guided by the teacher or discussed openly among the students.

Provide strong reasoning

It’s very important that students are required to provide an explanation and strong reasoning for their answers. This forces them to really understand each concept they are learning about if they want to succeed. Students should be asked to justify their answers both verbally in class, as well as on tests, quizzes, and homework.

Reflect on learning

Journaling is an extremely effective tool for personal growth, both intellectually and emotionally. Encouraging students to reflect on their learning and their activities helps them develop their thoughts and reinforces the concepts they’ve learned in class.

Steps to problem solving

A problem solving methodology is a set of steps that students can use to approach any problem they encounter in a given class. There are many different types of problem solving methodologies that can be used in different disciplines from science to writing to economics.

Problem solving methodologies give students the tools they need to solve any challenge efficiently and prevents them from getting stuck when they encounter a particularly difficult problem.

Integrate technology

A 21st century classroom not only teaches students how to use modern technology, but integrates it into lessons so students can really master it. Students in a modern classroom are able to use technology resourcefully to solve problems and achieve their goals. Some schools have introduced virtual reality into teaching materials.

A 21st century classroom also continually updates their technology and incorporates new pieces of technology to provide relevant lessons for students.

Facilitate the classroom

In a 21st century classroom, the teacher does so much more than just provide lectures. While teachers do still present information, they do it in a much more interactive way, creating a conversation among students during each lesson. They also facilitate a wide range of projects, and act as support and encouragement for students when they encounter roadblocks. The modern approach is less authoritarian than in the past.

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