There is much talk about 21st Century learning going beyond the classroom. I think a lot of truth lies in the talk, and many teachers are understanding and adapting to this concept also. But consider that learning happens beyond your classroom whether you facilitate it or not.
Many teacher try to be more connected with their students outside of the 45 - 55 minutes per day that the students are seated in the classroom. This is the way learning should be. Learning will happen more effortlessly if a relationship is attached to the learning. Many teachers are using online curriculum management tools to make their subject matter available 24/7 for their students. Using tools such as blogs, videos, podcasts, flipped classrooms, and myriad other new technologies, learning can now take place almost any time from anywhere.
Nothing smacks of old-style modern era learning as much as having a single teacher be the only source of information on a particular subject. My dad was one of my math teachers in high school. I learned easily in his classes because I grew up in his house and his methods of communication were ingrained into me long before high school math. Some other kids in my class struggled because they did not grow up with my dad. They were trying to learn concepts that did not come naturally to them from someone whose mannerisms and vocabulary and methods also dod not come naturally their senses. The same was tru for me in history and social studies classes. I could understand math and science far easier than Texas history.
But what about learning that does not directly involve the teacher? In the post-modern era learning is no longer confined to the four walls of a school classroom or lab. Post-modern, 21st century student are connected to each other constantly through their phones, their computers, their tablets, and whatever other devices and programs have been invented since I began typing this post. No longer are their times of the day when it's appropriate to socialize, and other times when it's appropriate to learn, and other times when it's appropriate to play. All of these activities happen constantly throughout the day. Students will learn the concept you're trying to teach them much more quickly from someone with whom they communicate more easily, such as their peers. Social networking through text messages, online tools, and any other method a student can find allows them to learn from each other.
If you're thinking this sounds like some Universal Consciousness weirdness, you're probably more right than wrong. Students of today have more knowledge at the fingertips than all other previous generations of students combined. Any information about any subject can be had by a simple search-engine request, or a question posted on Facebook or Twitter. Maybe it's time we start showing student how to tap into the "Universal Consciousness" that is the Internet and how to tell the good information from the bad. Maybe a teachers job should be to make sure a student knows what information is correct and reliable, not just pass the information to the student and home some of it gets memorized and sticks in their brain.