In order to
What does a 21st Century Classroom look like compared to a traditional classroom?
Traditional Classroom
21st Century Classroom
Teacher-directed Instruction
Planning begins with identification of what students are to know and do as a result of the unit.
(Begin with the end in Mind)
Slow and controlled release of information from limited sources
Digital learners tend to receive information quickly from multiple multimedia sources
Tend to provide text before pictures, sounds and video.
Digital learners tend to process pictures, sounds, color and video before text.
Provide info linearly, logically and sequentially.
Random access to hyper-linked multimedia information
The textbook is used as a main source of information.
Variety of instructional resources are used.
Interdisciplinary connections are often forced.
Interdisciplinary connections are made frequently to further learning.
Assessment is infrequent and at the end of the unit (summative).
Assessment is ongoing, informs instruction and allows for extending understanding through application of knowledge (formative and summative). "Performance" or "product" assessment is used to evaluate student projects that integrate technology.
Students and teachers work independently. Teacher is ‘Sage on the Stage.”
Teachers and students use technology together learning from each other.
No connections are made with classrooms outside of school.
Connections are made frequently with classrooms around the world.
The internet is used to retrieve information.
The internet is used to retrieve information, additionally, Web 2.0 tools are employed to post, publish, create and comment on projects online.
Tend to prefer learners to work independently before they network and interact
Digital learners tend to network simultaneously with many others
Tend to delay gratification and rewards
Digital learners tent to learn 'just-in-time'
Feel compelled to instruct the ENTIRE curriculum and test all areas.
Digital learners tend to prefer learning that's relevant, hands-on and instantly useful
Click on this link to see video examples of 21st Century Classrooms. ( These videos were created by and generously shared by the West Virginia Department of Education: A complete library of exemplary videos on the West Virginia Teach 21 website at

Table Info from:
The Digital Divide that exists between Digital Learners and Traditional Teachers:
From: Closing the Digital Divide:
7 Things Education & Educators Need to Do
By Ian Jukes, The InfoSavvy Group and Ted McCain, Cystar