The 21st century is an digital information age. Technology as a tool and a method has percolated all the areas of our lives including political campaigns, development in the health sector, iTrade and most of all, Education. Education is a lifelong process of knowledge acquisition, integration, dissemination and application. As a student in the 21st century, it is expected of you to be able to use technology and information to your own advantage. Below are some of the characteristics of a 21st century student:
Content producer in classroom
The increasing access to internet services has made acquisition of knowledge way easier than the previous centuries. Modern schools or learning centers usually have wi-fi services, or most parents tend to have wi-fi services available at home. In the event that there is no wi-fi, most students have internet enabled phones in this era. Consequently, students can search any question on the internet and get a wide range of responses. Therefore, a 21st century student is highly knowledgeable. It is expected of you to be able to contribute to whatever the teacher is teaching in class based on the knowledge that you have gathered through your independent research. The days of going to class with an empty book and returning home with a book full of your teacher’s classroom notes are over! You have to learn to contribute to the little the teacher offers.
Knowledge is as powerful as much as it is used. With easy access to online books and other learning resources, a 21st century student is required to solve day to day problems at school, at home in preparation to solving major world problems in the future. That Chemistry lesson on filtration or distillation is not for fun, the 21st century student should be able to use that knowledge and alleviate clean water shortage in most developing societies around the world. That Geography class on environment is not a prerequisite for the end of term exam but rather a step towards resolving the issues on global warming and climate change. It is evident that the days of going to class because you want to ace your end of term examinations are over. Information is not for exam purpose a lone but rather application in the real world to resolve real world crises. This is a responsibility you have to take as student in this information age.
One of the social benefits of technology in the 21st century is the social media. Through social media, one can team up with anybody around the world and work together towards a particular goal. The same mentality should be used in class. The 21st century student is required to initiate classroom discussions that champion innovation and creativity amongst peers. The world is a big stage and one cannot be a single actor on it. Team work is key. It is time to use the internet to bring us closer to one another and to collectively help building one another rather than cyber bullying.
Self-motivated and self-directed.
As much as you would be expecting a lot from your teacher, the 21st century has empowered you as a student and you have the ability to direct your own learning path towards a future you hope for. All you need to do is spend a little time on the internet and search on various academic progressions you would like to take in the future. You are required to visit university websites and see the courses they offer in advance so that you can plan on your majors and minors in High school. If you are in postsecondary level spend a little time analyzing the job market so that you may know in advance which skills are needed and for how long.
The future is now in your hands and it is time you plan for your future today because today is the tomorrow that you said yesterday.
Also published on Medium.