A 21st Century approach to learning

Simon Davenport

Simon has worked in education for a number of years and joined LEGO Education in 2011. He was responsible for the organisation of the First LEGO League—a programme using MINDSTORMS EV3 that aimed to inspire young students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers.

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Website: education.lego.com/en-gb Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Image credit: Flickr // consumersenergy Image credit: Flickr // consumersenergy

We’ve all come to appreciate that technology will play a significant role in the careers and workforces of the future. However, we’re yet to see how this will manifest in practice, so preparing today’s children for their future by arming them with transferrable and relevant skills is crucial.

The new curriculum has evolved significantly to provide a 21st Century approach to learning, with computing being added in 2014, and with STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) being developed to align with the needs of today’s digitally-interconnected world. These subjects require logic, trial and error, communication, and resilience, and therefore the best way to teach them is by using applied and hands-on methods that reveal the real-world applications of topics.

A trend that’s emerged recently is the use of hands-on technology to aid kinaesthetic learning in STEM and computing classrooms. Teachers are using versatile resources, such as robotics kits and practical tools, to enrich the curriculum. Technology is allowing today’s classrooms to become more than just note-taking and reading from a textbook. And, when it comes to STEM subjects in particular, it’s enabling teachers to provide pupils with learning opportunities that are truly beneficial and engaging, helping them to really delve deeper into topics and recognise the real-life “Teachers are using resources such as robotics kits to enrich.” applications, which, in turn, helps them to develop mastery over topics.


Another edtech trend that’s emerging is the use of technology to enhance creativity and imagination within schools, and enable learning to be truly placed in learners’ hands. While classrooms used to follow the ‘sage on stage’ set-up, it’s now about ‘bringing learning to life’ and giving pupils the opportunity to work and think autonomously, so that they can use their imagination to develop their own ideas and solutions to problems. Yes, they’re likely to stumble to begin with as they’re not being given the answer on a plate. But often these situations provide students with some of the greatest learning opportunities, as they must be resilient enough to try and try again, and use their problem-solving abilities and creativity to devise a successful solution or outcome. When learning is placed in pupils’ hands, it encourages them to become the resilient and adaptable thinkers needed for the future.

It’s no revelation that ‘hands-on, minds-in’ learning is more engaging, and when pupils enjoy learning, they learn better, and they learn more. This is why technology is being increasingly used to revolutionise the way STEM subjects are taught. We can’t predict what the future holds, or what jobs are going to be available, however it’s highly likely that technology is going to play a large part. Therefore, by using technology to aid learning, it’s helping to arm Generation Z with the invaluable, real-world and transferrable skills, experience and knowledge needed for the classroom and any future endeavours.

How do you prepare your learners for the future? Let us know below.

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