Learning with your iPad

Learning in the 21st Century

We are living in unique times. Our students are growing up in in a digital age in which rapid and continuing change is a fact of life. Consequently we are preparing our students for a future which is radically different to the one in which we were educated and now live and work. So why is the 21st Century so radically different from the previous century?  What should learning in the 21st century look like?

21st Century Education

Learning in the 21st Century means that simply having a finite set of skills or body of knowledge is no longer sufficient. This does not mean our students do not need to learn the 3Rs - the traditional skills of reading, writing and mathematics. Rather it means that these skills will no longer be sufficient for living in the 21st Century. We need to ensure that our students also have additional  skills and capabilities to equip them for possible futures that we haven’t even thought of yet. They need skills and dispositions that will enable them to become confident lifelong learners.

The Australian Curriculum has identified a set of general capabilities essential for learning in today's world. These capabilities are also embedded in all NSW Syllabus documents.

They include the ability to:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Think Critically and Creatively
  • Collaborate with others
  • Apply existing knowledge to Solve Problems
  • Create and share new knowledge with others
Let's share a story from the Partnership for 21st Century Skills which illustrates the importance of these 21st Century skills and capabilities, which are referred to in the video as the 4Cs

Above and Beyond: the 4cs


ICT Capability is another important General Capability identified in the Australian Curriculum which states that

“ICT transforms the ways that students think and learn and gives them greater control over how, where and when they learn.”

Access to ICT has therefore become an essential prerequisite for learning in the 21st century. In the past two years, schools have enthusiastically embraced the iPad as a technology for learning. Its versatility, ease of use and cost effectiveness has meant that it is increasingly the device of choice for the 21st Century classroom.