The experts define 21st Century Learning Skills in a variety of definitions. Some say that 21st Century Learning is an approach that “marries content with skill (Rich, 2010) , while another says it is dynamic, self-directed modern learning using modern technology-based tools and yet another expert describes 21st Century Learning as leverging technology to meet the needs of the learner in a personalized environment (Rich, 2010). Perhaps we can all agree that 21 Century learning is learning a set of skills to apply to content knowledge and how to access
technology in a way that engages and enhances student learning. technology in a way that engages and enhances student learning.
The real challenge as a special education teacher is shifting the mindsets of educators to support their technology needs. Educators have an opportunity to move away from the Medical Model of Disability and adopt the Social Model of Disability. We can do this through implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) inside the classroom to support technological integration for all students. We must adjust our mindset from seeing the disability as the problem to adapting the world to the disability because we value all children. UDL removes barriers to learning to support the success of all students in the digital classroom.
What is 21st Century Learning for students with disabilities? From the lens of special education, I always identify the similarities as a jumping off point. Student's require skills to access the digital classroom. From here, the gap widens very quickly.
All educators have an opportunity to consider accessibility, inclusive technology and innovation, which will increase equitable practices and develop skills for the 21st century learner.
To learn more about 21st century learning for students with disabilities please watch my video. I hope you enjoy.
References and Image Credit:
CAST (2018). Universal Design for Learning Guidelines version 2.2. Retrieved from http: //udlguidelines.cast.org
Devlin, C. (2022, June 12). 21st century learning with a twist. [Video]. YouTube. youtu.be/gISTFHVlgI4
Human, Erin. (2019). Disability 101: medical model vs social model. [Image]. EISFORERIN. https://eisforerin.com/posts/
Petrograd99. (2022). Cute toddlers playing in twister game at kindergarten. [Photograph]. Deposit Photos.
Rich, E. (2010, October, 11). How do you define 21st century learning. EducationWeek. https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/how-do-you-define-21st-century-learning/2010/10