The schools and other educational institutions across countries have a major responsibility to handle – building a strong foundation for a generation’s successful future. Today, we talk about how technology has advanced quickly and changed the way we perceive things. We boast about disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT) and how they are at the core of the fourth industrial revolution. In this digital age, people have changed the way they used to do shopping, banking, planning their travel, conducting business meetings, or finding information. Most of these tasks have converted from traditional means to online channels.
But what about the education sector? Do you see a significant change in how the students are taught in schools and universities? Probably not! The method of teaching at schools has barely changed compared to the past decade. This is a major concern as education plays an important role in shaping the future of the next generation of aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Don’t you think it is high time to address the flaws of the traditional education system and prepare students for the future by helping them develop innovative and collaborative problem-solving abilities?
Infusing the right technology in the education system requires the very best from learners, trainers, parents, and administrators. With an effective technology foundation, teachers can use powerful tools to deepen, accelerate, and improve student learning. For students, such a foundation allows them to thrive as next-generation citizens and innovators who can creatively use the skills they gain. This transformation is necessary as the world economy today doesn’t pay employees for what they know but they can do with that knowledge.
Schools need to adopt what professionals have already incorporated as part of their upskilling initiatives. The corporate workforce, that hardly gets any time free off their busy schedule to invest in academic learning, is turning towards eLearning platforms. Employees who plan to improve their career prospects by achieving industry-recognized credentials like the PMP certification, ITIL certification, or Six Sigma certification, take online courses to prepare for the same.
Depending on the needs, learners can adopt eLearning by either selecting a self-paced learning mode or blended learning mode. Contrary to traditional learning, eLearning involves the creation of short video modules in which a highly-qualified trainer explains the concepts. In self-paced learning, students get access to these pre-recorded videos and learn at their own pace. How the technology works here is learners participate in these online courses through a Learning Management System (LMS). It is kind of a repository where training providers upload their content and it can be accessed remotely at any time by students. Through an LMS, both mentors and students themselves can track their progress and learn accordingly.
Now in blended learning, students not only get access to pre-recorded videos but can also participate in live instructor-led training sessions. Online collaboration tools allow educators and learners to interact through video conferencing. Such tools have advanced interactive features like real-time testing and grading, breakout sessions, assessment tracking, instant feedback, and integrated labs to gain practical knowledge. If schools adopt these dynamic e-learning opportunities, they would be successful in shifting their focus towards robust collaboration, suitable learning experiences, and learning that goes beyond the walls of the traditional campus.
The future is increasingly more unpredictable and the traditional approach of getting a degree in one discipline and landing an appropriate job isn’t applicable these days. Students need to be encouraged to keep on learning and more specifically applying the knowledge to adapt to the dynamic job market. Schools can achieve this by giving appropriate scenarios to the students and asking them to apply their knowledge from different disciplines and come up with innovative solutions.
To sum up, the focus of governments should be on transforming schools to the needs of the 21st century. Many researches have found that the traditional lecture-centric and one-size-fits-all approach of schools does not prepare students for the present-day challenges and unprecedented situations. Hence, a student-centric approach is necessary to create innovative learning environments and empower learners to reach their fullest potential. In a transformed education system, students would get access to powerful mobile devices as personal learning platforms. Teachers, on the other hand, would be able to use various tools and information to customize the student’s learning experience. Such progressive steps are sure to prepare students to be successful and engaged members of society.