The 21st century learner: how to be you po?

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Avatar for juanmakata
2 years ago

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." — Alvin Toffler

Way back in 2000, we entered the age where the necessity and the standards of learning is advanced, and where the skills we used to learn 30 years ago may not necessarily be applicable in today's learning and workplace. The signs are all around us: second graders texting under cellphones; kindergarten surfing the net, navigating on youtube for their favorite disney series; and middle schoolers who use tablets, ipods, and laptops to research for their school assignments. these are manifestations of a new kind of learners who utilize technology in their day-to-day lives. This is also an indication that schools should formulate another effective means of delivering instruction that injects the use of technology which tows along with students' learning preferences.

Thus, the pressure is on for the 21st century learners - the digital natives; and you are one of them. But, who really are you as a digital learner? What do you need to learn in this multi-faceted world? What requirements do you need to bring to cope with the highly technological and demanding learning environment? Lastly, are you ready for the challenge? Presented below is your full identification as a digital native.

Who are you?

According to technopedia, "a digital native is an individual who was born after the widespread adoption of digital technology. The term digital native doesn't refer to a particular generation. Instead, it is a catch-all category for children who have grown up using technology like the internet, computers and mobile devices. This exposure to technology in the early years is believed to give digital natives a greater familiarity with/and understanding of technology than people who were born before it was widespread."

What do wait what do you need to learn?

Learning in this new millennium requires everyone to master and practice the different 21st century skills which are put in a nutshell through the 4Cs -Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Creativity.


Doing things alone is tedious, but doing them together is fun and easy. This is the principle of collaboration - to work together to reach a goal, to ignite teamwork, and to build lifelong connections among students. In collaboration, the strengths and weaknesses of the students came out, and it is also them who do their best improve more and conquer the skills they are weak at. When you are in a group tasks and you are transforming to solve a very nerve deteriorating math problems, you are already collaborating. Everything you do with regards to working with other people is collaboration.


Communication is the process of exchanging knowledge, thoughts, ideas and concepts with other people. It is a means by which students talk with one another sensibly to discuss matters to quickly affect them as well as to come up with solutions to certain problems. Effective communication will allow you to functionally use the target language in different authentic situations, instead of tediously learning one by one the structures of the language thought. As a student you will have an effective communication skills when you're able to express your ideas freely and comfortably using any language in the classroom engagements. When you recite, recite present proposals, enact role plays, and even when you use social media as a facebook, twitter, youtube, etc. to exchange ideas with your peers, you are in the process of communicating. However, be extra cautious on the words you say or post online because it might ruin someone's reputation and maybe yours as well.


What is the mind can never be appreciated if there is no product present that explains it. Being creative determines whether you are a proficient learner or not. To be creative is to apply the principles, the concept, and the ideas you learn not only in the classroom but everywhere. As a 21st century learner, it is expected that you know how to try different approaches that will lead you to invent or innovate things. When your teacher tells you to make a short action story, or a creative project you are already being creative. Thus, creativity is pushing our brains to the limit to make something good and useful.

Critical thinking

Everyone thinks, in fact, it is our nature to do so. But much of our thinking, left to itself is biased, distorted, partial and downright prejudice. Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought. As a 21st century learner, have to be critical in all situations by analyzing, inspecting and evaluating them in all possible angles. Through this, it will lead you to formulate upright conclusions and judgments based on thorough, clear and objective way of analyzing facts. Thus, critical thinking is flushing out the whole story in two pieces of little meats where you can drive and have wider and better scope. One way of being critical is analyzing text contents. What does the text imply? How does it affect you and your future profession? How will you use the things you learn to your daily life struggles? If you're able to follow the process and you get something valuable out of the every experience you get into, then, you are already a critical thinking person. For it is a fact that one who merely things knows the topic one who thinks knows the topic, but one who thinks critically knows not only the topic also but also himself/herself and others.

This traumatic shift in education has come, and there is no other way left to us but acceptance. Altogether let us accept what is there and start walking to the path of excellence and improvement. For in the change there is learning and for every learning there is change, the 21st century skills are challenges that all of us learners should face and embody. After all, Toffler reminds us that the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn

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