21 Tips, Tricks, and Ideas Every 21st Century Teacher Should Try

Friday, March 25, 2016 -- Sarah Cornelius

“To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.”

                -Winston Churchill

The way that today’s classrooms look and operate is very different from classrooms 30, 20, or even as recently as five years ago. Technology is developing and advancing at a rapid pace, and that affects everyone’s day-to-day life. It’s inevitable that those changes trickle down to the classroom and have a huge impact on both the tools available to educators and what effective teaching methods look like. What’s the best way for educators to handle all of these changes? Embrace them! Take advantage of all of the new resources and ideas circulating in the education community, and start experimenting in your classroom. To help you get started, we’ve put together this list of 21 tips, tricks, and ideas for 21st century teaching and learning:

  1. Embrace blended learning in your classroom! Check out these Top 10 Blended Learning FAQs to get started!
  2. Go paperless for a week (or more!).
  3. Encourage your students to embrace a growth mindset by celebrating both successes and learning experiences.
  4. Curate a class Pinterest account to organize ideas, offer students additional learning resources, and keep parents in the loop. Connect with Edmentum for lots of free content and classroom inspiration!
  5. Introduce your students (and maybe yourself!) to coding! Don’t worry—it’s not nearly as intimidating as it sounds. The cross-curricular applications are endless, and there are lots of tools to help. Visit Code.org to get started or check out EducationCity’s Computing module!
  6. Research how other educators, schools, and districts are finding success in their classrooms. Check out how Sheboygan Falls School District is having success using blended learning strategies in its RTI program!
  7. Create your own class hashtag to use on social media—we’re big fans of #WhyITeach and #MovingEducationForward!
  8. Introduce technology-enhanced item types in your classroom to prepare your students for next-generation assessments!
  9. Motivate your students with a little friendly competition—hold a classroom contest!
  10. Create a classroom blog, and engage your students with a “question of the week” post. Need some blogging inspiration? Subscribe to Edmentum’s blog!
  11. Encourage collaboration and communication among your students with online tools like Plato Courseware’s Collaboration Space or Study Island’s Group Session.
  12. Embrace technology like smartphones and tablets that your students have access to, and try implementing a BYOD program in your school or classroom—check out these nine tips to get started.
  13. Stay focused on literacy! Understand the impacts that a strong foundation in reading and literacy can have on students’ academic careers.
  14. Have a “no tech day” for nostalgia’s sake—download Edmentum’s math and ELA worksheet bundles to help make it happen.
  15. Keep the learning going on a snowy or flooding day by moving classwork online for at-home-learning days! Learn how Comprehensive Bad Weather Solutions from Edmentum can help.
  16. Motivate and engage students and encourage deeper learning by incorporating gamification into your classroom curriculum and activities. Read more about the Case for Game-Based Learning here!
  17. Diversify your curriculum, and help your students gain critical skills for success in the workforce with Career and Technical Education courses! Check out Edmentum’s complete CTE library, including courses across all 16 National Career Clusters®!
  18. Check out an education-focused podcast for great tips and professional development ideas! Not sure where to start looking? We put together this list of Six Podcasts Every Teacher Should Check Out!
  19. Help your students understand the importance of appropriate online behavior by incorporating critical lessons on Digital Citizenship in your classroom!
  20. Encourage hands-on exploration, and help students take ownership of their education with an engaging Project-Based Learning unit.
  21. Take your professional development online—take part in an education-focused Twitter chat! These moderated, online discussions cover different education-related topics, as well as specific geographic locations. Get started by following #EdChat!

Interested in finding out more about Edmentum’s online programs to support teaching and learning, including core and elective courses, formative assessment tools, and real-time student progress monitoring? Check out all of our solutions for the 21st century classroom!