How digital technologies have transformed 21st century pedagogy and learning

How digital technologies have transformed 21st century pedagogy and learning

Shirley O’Neill University of Southern Queensland
Tony Richardson University of the Sunshine Coast
The education process of the 21st century has been heavily impacted upon by digital technology. This impact has culminated in the transformation of pedagogy and learning through the penetration of digital technology into the social, political and economic fabric of society. Learning is now more strategic with a greater emphasis on learner-centred learning and virtual collaboration, whereby the role of the teacher has changed to a facilitator of learning, rather than the fountain of knowledge. This paradigmatic shift in approach responds to the need for life-long learning whereby, in a freelance economy, individuals will be expected to engage in working landscapes requiring a broad range of skill sets, including the soft skills. A freelance economy encourages individuals, through greater levels of autonomy, to collaborate and engage in enhanced decision-making and, as a result, be positioned to participate in the improvement of society through the use of flexible learning structures supported by digital technologies. This expectation, therefore, impacts educational institutions across sectors, requiring them to provide learners with the skills necessary to continue their learning journeys well beyond their formal education. In response to this pedagogical shift, this paper provides insights into the wide scope of digital technology use for 21st century learning to date. It provides three exemplars that encompass: 1) School curriculum implementation; 2) Enhancing languages education and 3) Use of Zoom for online collaboration. All three address the challenges faced in implementation, in addition to outlining the associated expectations, strategies and support mechanisms.
Freelance economy
digital literacy
digital technology
learner-centred pedagogy
life-long learning
21st century learning

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