By: BTC Admin
Keeping students engaged have always been a struggle for educators in any classroom set-up, but 2017 is seeing a consistent shift in the path of education. The focus of learning today is not inasmuch as what we learn but HOW we learn. This, in turn, calls for more hands-on, pragmatic methods of teaching.
The tools today that are available in educating students of virtually any age have better interaction with the learners, allowing space for individuality and, of course, creativity. Where the past focused on memorizing theories and formulas, as important as that act is, now that we live in an information age where data is at your fingertips, educators now capitalize on this through application to realistic problems that occur in our world today. The approach is much more pragmatic, thus giving students the chance to see the bigger picture of why they are learning.
For instance, technology is in no way slowing down. Virtual Reality technology is becoming mainstream and transcending the world of gaming and making its way to education. VR hardware sales will cross $5 billion and VR software market will grow to $24.5 billion by 2020, according to Statista. And due to advances in the technology, a large share of that could go to various sectors. 2017 itself could see the expansion of VR use to many other industries and education is but one of them. Diversification in teaching approaches has been known to help, and the use of VR to create an immersive classroom experience is one way to do it.
Schools in the United Kingdom have started using VR to create an experience where students are allowed to explore subject-related matter in a virtual environment, aimed at providing them with a better understanding and an engaging experience.
Another trend taking on the global stage of education is Personalization. This could mean differentiated learning activities, customized course offerings, or goal-setting. Invariably, students are given agency over their learning, customizing it according to their interests and how they get the most of the education experience. This has begun through online courses, especially through MOOC or the Massive Open Online Course where courses and specializations are offered by prestigious universities and colleges, some for minimal fee and others even free of charge.
What has began because of distant learning, educators have seen the results in this approach that it has been adopted for students that do not quite fit in with what their current system has to offer. Plus, the communities built within this type of learning is immensely culture-diversified, making the students more aware and agile in the differences and sameness of humans the world over. The curriculum and the whole learning experience is defined by real-life skill sets that students deem as essential.
Although not everybody is ready for this open-ended approach, the scales are weighing in to the benefit of all the participating stakeholders like the students themselves, their teachers, and their parents. A deeper sense of relationship among these stakeholders have developed, creating better harmony and not stiff hierarchism.
Finally, all eyes are on the complex Artificial Intelligence education that is set to redefine methods of teaching. In Asia, successful education solutions are increasingly including AI-led personalization technologies that prepare future-ready, digital learners and schools with the right tools and skills. The adoption of sophisticated AI has further been accelerated by the increased investment and M&A trends seen across the EdTech industry in Asia, predominantly in China.
Co-Founder of EdTechXGlobal, Charles McIntyre explains, “Conversations about AI should not be singularly defined by the prediction that it is taking over the world. The global education industry should instead be debating and discussing ways of how best to integrate AI with humans to create blended solutions within education and training.”
As AI-integrated technologies continue to emerge, researchers and developers need to harness the unique strengths associated with humans and technology. Humans have the creativity, empathy and ‘grit’ that form the basis of a necessary emotional intelligence. Conversely, machines possess efficiency, vast access to knowledge, personalization capabilities and rapid data analysis. As a result of this technological proficiency, what humans accomplish in 50 years, machines can complete in a matter of seconds.
“A key trend in 2017 will be the exploration of ‘cyborg learning’ – how to couple emotional intelligence with the vast computational abilities of AI. In order to better prepare a ‘future-ready’ generation, we need to leverage the full potential of AI to focus on how we learn, opposed to what we learn,” McIntyre elaborated.
10 years from now, an exponential growth in education and learning is inevitable, with both industry leaders and fast-growing education companies investing and are in it for the long-haul. Learners and their parents and educators will have a smorgasbord of tools and methods to suit their preferences. Stakeholders are increasingly becoming more aware that students must be treated as people who, inherently, have to be trained to think for themselves.
In the near and distant future, solutions to the educational woes of today will be answered by open-mindedness and the correlative depth of continually changing our minds on how to be better. It will be a whole experience and not fragmented or too focused on selected areas, allowing growth in every aspect of being a human, on being a learner.