Guest Post: 21st Century Learning from the Student Perspective

We have a special post today from a student who has started blogging this year with an introduction from her teacher. If you can, please take a moment to comment and engage with this inspiring post from Kaitlyn – She has a question for you at the end!

I am honoured to introduce Kaitlyn Champoux, a grade six student in my Advisory class. We have been working on developing digital literacies and becoming active digital citizens this year by sharing our learning on Twitter and through individual student blogs. It has been exciting watching global connections forming through interacting with other classes and teachers using social media! Students are encouraged to write on topics of interest to them, and also to participate and post challenges to each other to extend our thinking or perspectives on other topics. The opportunity to write for a wider audience has made the writing process and exchanging feedback an authentic experience. The connections my students are making are memorable and meaningful. As a classroom teacher, the best thing to arise out of student blogging has been the willingness of the students to share the learning that occurs outside of regularly scheduled school hours!

Heidi James

Hi my name is Kaitlyn and I am 11 years old. I love to travel and I have 3 dogs. I just started blogging this year! Dance is a part of my life. I have been dancing since I was 2  and I love it! I do Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Body Rhythms, and Line dancing.


I decided to write about this topic because my teacher was talking about 21st century learning skills with us because we do challenges on our blog. She was telling us about what every skill means and these are the ones that were the most important to me. I also chose this topic because it sounded like a challenging level. In my life I make my learning fun, I do that by making my learning a game with levels. Each level is how to make me think and learn more.

Twenty-First Century learning is important to me because I still have a lot of years left in school. I will have to know these skills for jobs that will be invented in the future. These are the skills that I think are most important for students to have.

  • Imagination is a whole other world beyond life, if you include imagination in your learning it will help you think outside the box and imagine different solutions
  • Collaboration is important because if you can work well together in a group and accomplish something that is a way better experience compared to doing your work alone
  • Believing in yourself is important because if you believe in yourself you can accomplish anything you want to
  • Determination is when you let nothing get in your way. If something is hard, you deal with it and you make sure you are always doing the best you can as a Twenty-First Century learner
  • Self-regulation is when you regulate yourself and if you’re not concentrating on your work you move to a different spot in the room and if you’re so frustrated with someone you take a walk to the water fountain and calm yourself down. In order to learn to the best of your abilities you must be able to regulate yourself
  •  Adaptability is important when you are a Twenty-First Century learner because if something happens you have to deal with it and react in a calm way. You think of what you can do to help fix that situation or if your teacher takes out your favourite block in the day, you simply say “ok” and you deal with it. Another word for this is called is being flexible.
  • Effective writing is when you can write from your heart and if you can include emotions in your writing it will get to the readers’ emotions and that’s the best type of writing you can get.

Thank you for reading, I hope to be a guest blogger again sometime.

Question: What skills do you think are the most important for students to learn?


Please leave Kaitlyn a comment by clicking on the word bubble up top!




8 thoughts on “Guest Post: 21st Century Learning from the Student Perspective

  1. I think the two most important skills are self regulation and collaboration. All students right through to post secondary education MUST be able to self regulate. The soon students take responsibility for their own learning, the more successful they will be. Collaboration is so important in everything we do. To collaborate is to share thoughts and ideas and learning from each other. Put two minds together and get twice the results!!! Love you blog, Kaitlyn. Thanks Heidi James for offering your students such great opportunities!!!

  2. Hey Kaitlyn,

    Always enjoy reading your blog posts as they often make me think about something meaningful. I appreciate you including imagination as a skill that you believe to be important for a student. I find hard to envision a world without imagination. If imagination did not exist I doubt the internet would have ever been created and then as a result it would be difficult for people to share and learn with one another. The world would be a very static and uninteresting place without imagination.

    Thanks so much Kaitlyn (and Mrs.James) for sharing.

    • Hi Kaitlyn,

      Fabulous guest blog post! I am very impressed with how you showed determination and dove right into what your teacher might have meant by 21st century skills. What kinds of jobs do you imagine yourself going into that might require some of these skills? As a teacher, I probably utilize adaptability and collaboration the most in my work, as I am constantly working with others – students, parents, principals, and community members – to help improve my students’ ability to learn in my classroom. I hope to read some more of your work soon. Congratulations for being a published author!

  3. Hi Kaitlyn,
    Your writing is very clear, wise and interesting! I think believing in yourself is very important. “Yes I can” opens many opportunity doors. Self- regulation is very important for focusing. I like the word perseverance. This fits with determination. Sometimes one needs to be determined for a long time to fulfill dreams. Adaptability
    Is extremely important in our changing world. We have to adjust to the world.
    Collaborating, absolutely! Following the leadership of a boss is also a reality for many of us. Thank you for sharing and I wish you a bright future. Enjoy expressing yourself through the written word! Mrs. Strong, teacher

  4. Good points Kaitlin! I also think that communication is a big skill to have. If you can’t effectively communicate what you want, or your ideas then you won’t be able to get your point across, and working with others becomes difficult. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Kaitlyn, I think you have hit the nail on the head with what students need these days to learn and excel in their classes. I really enjoyed your writing and you seem wise beyond your years. That is pretty cool that you are getting into blogging at such a young age – very admirable.

    From a motivational perspective, I heave learned through teaching and research that giving students a sense of autonomy and allowing them to make their own decisions (both in large and small contexts) can increase performance and interest in their studies. I have also noticed that students who feel more connected to others in a classroom environment are also more motivated, perhaps because they have the support of those around them.

  6. Kaitlyn,

    As a researcher who studies how athletes and students self-regulate their learning, I think self-regulation is probably one of the most important skills to have. It’s applicable in any situation and is really about making changes to improve your learning. It’s also very, very important in collaboration (as is learning to regulate as a group!). You gave a couple of great examples of self-regulation and I’m sure you can think of more if you think about some challenges or difficulties you face in your dance and the strategies you use to get better in dance. I think you’ve done a great job explaining what those skills are and I hope you can see how you use those skills not only in your schooling but in all areas of your life. Thank you for sharing!

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