Inspiring the 21st Century Learner: Strategies to Increase Student Engagement and Rigor in the Classroom

Remember that amazing standards-aligned and perfectly scaffolded lesson you designed? 

Remember the total silence you heard in your classroom as your perfect lesson turned out to be less than perfect? 

We have all experienced a silent room with varying degrees of uninterested faces looking back at us. The ability to engage students in learning seems to have become more difficult each school year. Student achievement in the classroom can only be promoted if our students are engaged, invested, and active contributors in the learning process. 

Our students are unlike any other group we have seen before in schools. These students are luckily part of Generation Z; a generation that has grown up with constant and steady access to the internet and technology. The rise of technology has impacted our students beyond simply occupying their time. Scientists have observed a tangible impact of technology upon the brain of 21st-century learners. 

The characteristics of the 21st Century Learner: 

  • Shorter attention spans
  • Multitaskers 
  • Engage with multimodal forms of information rather than texts

This research has major implications on the learning process for our students and impacts the process, modes, and style of instruction for our students. 

An engaging lesson is surely our most impactful lesson. When our students are engaged in instruction, they are more likely to demonstrate increased mastery and achievement of lesson skills and content. Engagement does not have to be flashy, time-consuming, or complex. Simple daily engagement strategies such as collaboration opportunities and participation techniques can have a tangible impact on instruction. 

Our Increased Engagement Rigor workshop provides a variety of research-based and applicable engagement strategies that can transform lessons and units into instructional experiences your students won’t soon forget.

As we are reeling our students in with an engaging lesson, we can sometimes find our lessons losing content focus and rigor. However, our students are capable of being high achievers; they simply need the opportunity! Providing rigorous instruction can allow students to take ownership of their learning and take content to new and exciting places. The rigorous instruction strategies in our workshop are adaptable to all content levels. They aim to promote an academic setting that motivates students to master content and meet high academic expectations. 

The Increased Engagement and Rigor workshop at Strobel Education aims to empower educators from all grade levels and content areas to promote a student-centered classroom by implementing instruction designed to meet the needs of the 21st-century learner. Our students deserve the best instructional experience we can provide.

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