21st Century Learning

Did You Know+

There is a high chance that an educator today has seen one of the many versions of this provocative video presentation asking us all to consider some of the rapid global changes which students today are facing. This version below is one of four currently listed by it’s original author, Karl Fisch, on his website. (Twitter: @karlfisch)

It’s interesting to note that it was inspired in part by Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat, but draws on the works of others too. The video has received some measure of controversy as some of the statistics have been disputed.  Nevertheless, it has had a huge impact on current conversations surrounding educational reform. It has also inspired many similar video presentations. See this, one for example, entitled 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada


Sir Ken Robinson – Creativity and the urgent need for Educational Reform

Ken Robinson Thinks Schools Are Killing Creativity. Delivered as a TED Talk in 2006, this is an absolute must-see, a highly compelling presentation on the need to reform education systems around the world, placing creativity at the heart of learning.

Changing Paradigms. This is a 55 minute speech delivered at the RSA, in which he extends and amplifies the arguments he puts forwards in the TED talk above.

The same speech has been distilled into just under 12 minutes and accompanied by some brilliant animation crafted by RSA (hosted here).


We are developing technological innovations at the most extraordinary rate and it means that everything is changing far faster and far more profoundly than most people really get I think, and there are both great opportunities and great challenges and some risks in all of this and our education systems were never designed to meet these challenges and my argument today is that we can’t really just improve them, we have to radically transform them.

Sir Ken Robinson’s view on Education

Twitter: @SirKenRobinson

A 21st Century Education – Documentary Film Series Profiling Education Innovators


This above is great for its round up of beautifully produced and very well considered documentaries by well respected figures (Stephen Heppell, Alan November, Elliot Soloway, Cathie Norris, and Yong Zhao).

The introductory video to one of the themes, Technology and 21st Century Learning gives a taste of what is to come


There is currently a google doc with suggestions of questions / activities for teachers as follow up to these videos. It is open, so anyone can edit. Click here.

Digital Ethnography Videos led by Dr Michael Wesch


Judging by this website and corresponding youtube output, ‘Digital Ethnography’ at Kansas University must be an engaging, exhilarating contemporary course in cultural anthropology.  Michael Wesch has coordinated some useful videos which are relevant to the concept of 21st Century learning, including the slightly dated by still entirely relevant Á Vision of Students Today’.

It’s interesting to note how influential this video has been and the spin-offs which it has inspired. These two for example:

A Vision of K-12 Students Today

A Vision of 21st Century Teachers


Born To Learn

Promising series of animations summarising recent developments towards understanding how people learn. At the time of writing, the first 5 minute video is available with the second in the pipeline. Well worth a watch. A project of The 21at Century Learning Initiative (registered charity in UK and US). Note that much of the research material derives from the book Overschooled but Undereducated by John Abbot and Heather MacTaggart.

Website: http://www.born-to-learn.org/

Episode 1 as hosted on Vimeo:

Born to Learn from Born to Learn on Vimeo.

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