New trends and ideas in education. Towards a student-center future with technology playing a vital role
An image of how education might look like in 5-20 years from now.
According to Rohit Talwar, children of today might end up working until they are 100 years old and during this long space they ‘ll change 40 jobs and 10 careers.
Moreover 30 – 80% of the existing job, are expected to vanish in the next 10-20 years since companies invest in “automation”.
This means that the more mechanical is your job, the likelier is to be replaced by machines.
Here, we present new trends that are being applied in education and might get established. Many methodologies that follow might sound antithetical to the status quo but there is hope!
Instead of written tests, students will be asked to show what they have learned through creative projects.
It is all about learning that happens through projects (Project based learning).
Students become authors, mechanics, inventors, designers!
They take responsibility of presenting a final product to an audience (possibly through presentation, event, or publication of a written product)
No more letters and written compositions that no one else is going to see beyond the educator, the student and perhaps the parent. This product might be a presentation (theatrical, product presentation etc.), a written product (a post blog, brochure), a built product (scientific tool, invention), a technological product (webpage, digital story), or it could be a design product (business plan, prototype etc.)
The main proponent of this methodology is the Buck Institute of education (BIE). The project must have a date of delivery and a structure. The educator or educators, choose the learning objectives they want their students to cultivate and they place a main question that is needed to be answered by the students. Project based learning can be applied from kindergarten. Visit the site of BIE for project ideas.
Blended learning is the use of technology for supporting teaching.
A type of blended learning is the flipped classroom. The meaning can be derived by the word. Lesson is delivered online through videos and other apps to which students have access before they even come to the classroom. Students watch the video that the educator uploaded e.g. on their group at Moodle Edmodo, or Class dojo or any other learning management system. In the classroom, students work on assignments to implement what they have learned in the videos.
As an example watch the following video by a chemistry teacher.
Gamification of Education
Imagine that instead of worksheets, the teacher instructs children to enter a specific game on their tablet to begin training. Students take immediate feedback from the game, whether they choose a correct move or not. If it looks like a distant idea to you, well it is not. See for example the school Quest to learn
Through the game students can “fail” in a safe environment and experiment.
A Company that is working on developing games for this purpose is Amplify, where a lab has been set up in the afternoon for children to play, asses the games and getting paid on top.
It’s a matter of time until 3d printing becomes the norm. Through 3d printing, students can print digital technology and explore objects and concepts like mathematical graphs, technological tools and historic artifacts.
Learning has already began taking place online. See Moodle as an example. Also plenty of classrooms connect through Skype with classrooms in other countries, taking part to a game called the mystery game.
Many curriculum lessons are expected to change form to respond to the new economical and technological needs. Skills that are being endorsed are: coding, design and financial literacy.
Learning spaces are expected to change with the introduction of standing desks for students to work standing and the addition of multiple stations for different activities in the classroom. Interactive board will be replaced by the interactive projector.
Interactive reality will become a reality with students having the chance for virtual excursions e.g. to museums wearing a special equipment with the outer cover been literally made by hard carton. It may sound expensive but its an investment that can save money to schools by avoiding transportation of the students to the actual places.
Leaning is Earning
We are finishing with a drastic idea that aims to incentivize lifelong learning: learning is earning. Its being promoted by two large foundations in the US: Institute for the Future (IFTF) and ACT Foundation. According to their site, everything that you learn in the future will be rewarded in blocks that will be recorded in your Ledger. The Ledger is the technology on which the whole system is based for recording your learning and income. You will be able to receive edublocks from formal institutions and companies. You will be able to give edublocks to people you teach. This idea gives the possibility for everyone to teach something in which s/he is a specialist. The Ledger is built upon a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is the same techology on which other cryptocurrencies are based on like Bitcoin. This means that each edublock that is earned will be a permanent part of the constantly growing public records.
As you can see technology has and will be having a protagonist role in education, fortunately or unfortunately.
The future of education lies within our classroom and this is our students! However when these students go to an interview for a job, their potential employer will not be asking them how much 3X7 is, but will ask them to solve real problems in the work space. Those are problems that require skills of collaboration, adaptability and critical thought.
Lets use technology to equip our students with the best skills!