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The advancement in technology has become prevalent in the past two to three decades. The business world changed, the medical world adapted and grew with it and the military made full use of it and improved their intelligence agencies. But where does the education sector stand?
For a sector that has the maximum influence on everyone’s future, it has mostly shown resistance to change with the world. Old professors and educationists who have been in this sector for a long time continued to believe that the old teaching methods have been successful and will continue to do so. Including technology in classrooms can only inhibit the learning of students.
This resistance met its fate, and the world was hit with the novel Coronavirus. The pandemic forced educational institutes to speed up the adoption of digital learning tools that initially were frowned upon. It opened newer opportunities but also raised tremendous questions regarding the irregularities and the disparities in the systems. They began questioning the policies and procedures of education.
The main question remains, are we still waiting for the pandemic to end so that we can shift back to the traditional teaching style? Or we’re willing to adopt the technology and move on into the future? What does the future look like for the education sector?
The social disparities and the differences can be traced back to how our education system treats individuality. Every student is expected to study the same thing and is graded based on their performance. This flawed method has resulted in disengagement and poor outcomes. Curriculums and educational material have been brought under scrutiny and it has been deduced that to ensure growth and learning, individuality needs to be addressed. Education itself has become a major and universities now are offering online degrees in curriculum and instruction for educators to support learning by identifying individualism and diversity. These programs teach how curriculums can be a powerful driving force. When designed thoroughly, it can encourage learning and can promote social change.
Learning over retention
The procedures for assessment in the traditional teaching system have shown poor results. Examinations were a test of how well a student’s mind can retain information rather than what valuable skill they have acquired. Every student, teacher, and parent is just focused on the results. Students seem to focus more on memorization rather than learning, just to score better. Grading is a waste of time if we only want to see who ends at the bottom and who reaches the top. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve proves that the mind loses its ability to retain information as time lapses. So this simply means, whatever we are studying, we’d eventually forget.
The 70-20-10 Learning Model proves that students learn much better by hands-on, challenging experiences and assignments. Many universities now design programs that require students to take up internships. This way, they can apply the knowledge they have gained in the real world and better analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
The teacher-centric classrooms have become obsolete now. The concept that the students have to listen to a teacher through an entire lesson seems foolish and outdated. As discussed above, the 70-20-10 model proves that only 10% of learning comes from listening. Students now need experiences that let them collaborate and communicate with others to learn effectively.
Classrooms should be made interactive. Teachers should encourage questioning and deep conversations to better understand each student and keep them engaged. Teachers can implement group work and monitor each student’s participation. This is an excellent way to develop skills like decision-making, communication, and key critical thinking, which are crucial in the job market.
Efficient use of technology
There has been a long, ongoing debate over how using technology in classrooms can hinder learning. The truth is, technology has nothing but served humanity for betterment. It has created endless choices of where learning can occur and from whom. Instead of questioning whether to introduce technology in classrooms or not, we need to discuss how to use it to our advantage.
The remote education model has proved that learning does not require a typical classroom setting. The vast amount of information on the internet has opened newer opportunities for learning. It now seems foolish to pay someone thousands of dollars to deliver information you can easily get for free. What needs to be taught is the safe use of this technology and handling problems that can arise with its use.
Educators of the future
Learning is not confined to one room and this is exactly why education is dynamic. This sector demands evaluation and assessment time and time again. Revisiting methods and policies can help see what needs to be changed and what needs to be polished. This is why the role of the teacher must also grow and adapt to the changes. The new era now requires teachers to be guides, facilitators, and leaders. As discussed above, learning opportunities are everywhere. Teachers now need to pipeline the vast information available, help students process it, and utilize it effectively for their good. It is very important to invest in teachers in the coming years as they are the individuals who are shaping the future minds.
Many accredited colleges and universities now offer certifications and formal degrees that instill and polish leadership qualities in educators. They are being taught different ways to make their classrooms more engaging and interactive. They also learn self-development to promote continuous improvement in their learning and teaching practices.
The pandemic has given the education sector a push in the right direction. All the changes, which were long due, were thrust upon. The first year of the pandemic was very shaky. The educational institutes’ administration and teachers struggled to keep the sector afloat.
But as we have progressed along with the pandemic, we have seen stability and massive development in the right direction. Newer opportunities for learning have sprouted and the approach to education has been modernized. Although there is still a lot to achieve, we are hopeful that the future will be bright and positive.