Autonomy - “The conditions of social life of course mean that individuals are subject to many constraints imposed by the requirements of living in community with others, but to the extent that they think freely for themselves, and make fundamentally important choices in the moral sphere about how to act in particular cases and what sort of person to be in general, to that extent they are autonomous” (Grayling, 2012). Students in the 21st century classroom develop learner autonomy by taking charge of their learning and setting learning goals. Autonomous learners require teachers to design and maintain learning environments to support learner autonomy.
Education - “The aim of contemporary education is mainly to equip the young with sufficient levels of literacy, numeracy and basic knowledge for participation in the complexities of modern work and society when they attain adulthood” (Grayling, 2012). In the Western culture the belief is education occurs roughly around the ages of five and twenty. The learning that occurs in the workplace is often considered a temporary 'training' and sometimes a 'retraining'. In the 21st century global world there is no barrier between learning in Kindergarten through college and than how learning looks in the workplace, instead students are learning how to learn and how to become lifelong learners. Students are being taught "that we have a responsibility to ourselves to be informed, knowledgeable and reflective, aware of what is happening in the world and able to be a good participant in debates and decisions concerning our lives and societies" (Grayling, 2012).
Games Theory - “Game theory is the analysis of strategies involving conflicts of interest, with a view to determining what counts as a rational strategy - and especially to determine when those engaged in making strategic decisions in such circumstances should cooperate and when they should compete for maximum advantage” (Grayling, 2012). Game-based learning and gamification are two games theories being utilized in the 21st century classroom. Game-based learning is utilizing games to enhance the classroom learning experience. Gamification, on the other hand, is adding game elements to a non-game learning situation.
Logic - “Logic is the study of reasoning and argument” (Grayling 2012). In 21st century classrooms learners need to be able to critically think and defend their arguments through collaboration and communication. "Critical thinking and problem solving, for example, have been components of human progress throughout history, from the development of early tools, to agricultural advancements, to the invention of vaccines, to land and sea exploration" (Rotherham &Willingham, 2009). Information literacy skills and global awareness are not new concepts, but what is new is "the extent to which changes in our economy and the world mean that collective and individual success depends on having such skills" (Rotherham & Willingham, 2009). Problem-based learning and project-based learning are two models which support students authentic learning and logical problem solving, as well as collaboration and communication.
Technology - Technology is not restricted to only digital devices, but also applies to the techniques these devices serve. Earliest forms of technology date back 2.5 million years ago to stone tools and the Acheulian era, 1.5 million years ago, humans began to specialize in how these stone tools could be utilized. For example, clear distinctions could be seen physically between tools, as well as how the various stone tools were used. Today's 21st century learners use digital devices in many facets of their life. In order for digital devices to be effectively used in the 21st century classrooms educators need to understand how these devices apply to effective instruction. Liz Keren-Kolb's article, "Engage, Enhance, and Extend Learning!" is a wonderful resource to help educators identify how to effectively incorporate technology into classroom practice.