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Educational Services Blog

8 Things That Are Obsolete In 21st-Century Schools

Posted by Arey Jones on Jun 23, 2017 4:43:24 PM

Things That Are Obsolete In 21st Century Schools

Times are a-changing. If you were born before 1990, chances are you can walk into today’s 21st-century classroom and only find a handful of the items you used while you walked those hallways as a student. Here are eight things that are missing from today’s schools and what’s replaced them.

The Computer Lab

Remember the computer lab, the room filled with huge monitors, the smell of static, and the hum of twenty small fan blades cooling off core processors? No more. Computer labs have been replaced by mobile laptop carts and in-classroom device learning, and they are now used as additional classrooms and space for STEAM and STEM learning environments.

The Oregon Trail

Goodbye, wagon wheels. Hello, SimCityEDU. Instead of working to avoid dysentery, students are braving a new frontier of civil engineering and anthropology.

The School Newspaper

Also phasing out is the paper copy of the school newspaper. Thanks to schools embracing social media, there are far more effective methods to distributing information, events, updates, and more. 

One-Size-Fits-All Learning

Thanks to improving technology, teachers can now more easily identify the types of learners in their classroom and provide customized instruction based on a student’s ability to process information visually, audibly, or kinesthetically. By using test scores and software, teachers are better able to equip students to learn in a way that is most efficient and most effective.

Three-Ring Binders

The Trapper Keeper is to Google Docs as the ditto machine is to the copier. Schools and students alike are using less paper and more cloud-based solutions for note-taking, homework, and collaboration.


Gone are the dusty slate walls of yesterday, as is the dreaded end-of-day task of clapping erasers and washing the boards. Today most schools use white boards and smart boards to provide more than just math equations and verb conjugations; they can share informative videos, visual aids, guest speakers, and more.


Dropping cursive from some curriculum has been a bit controversial as of late, but with typing and keyboarding such a crucial part of learning and connecting with the world these days, something had to go.

Floppy Disks

Five-and-a-half or three-and-a-quarter? If these sizes mean something to you, it may be hard to believe they don’t mean a thing to today’s learners, who operate solely on thumb drives and cloud storage.

These are just a handful of the ways today’s learning environments are different from the past. What are we missing from this list?


Topics: Classroom Technology, Educational Technology, 21st Century School Technology

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