Consider these alarming numbers. On average, only 70 finish school out of an initial enrolment of 100 students in India. Even in an economically developed country like the US, an average of 7000 students drop out of school daily, totalling 1.2 million annually. Reasons behind these large numbers vary across countries depending on socio-cultural as well as political factors but to a large extent on their economic status. A few of these factors range from poverty and accessibility to family issues, disability, addiction, academic failure and pressure to perform, lack of awareness and motivation and sometimes plain boredom.
These staggering numbers beget an important question – what attributes are important in an education system to keep children engaged today?
A part of the solution lies in the creative use of technology. Modern schools are under tremendous pressure to keep implementing new programs and initiatives to ensure that children are adequately engaged and learn skills that would be useful later in their professional lives. But one of the greatest challenges that the education system has struggled with over the years is its structure that encourages “teaching to the test” that forces students to look at learning in school as a mundane, unoriginal chore. Fortunately, with the right utilization of technology, the focus can shift to an approach where students become active participants in their own learning - assessment for learning.
Teaching 21st-century skills in school
With the rapidly changing pace of technology, education must evolve as well. Technology is transforming the way we live, work, and think. Education needs to equip today’s young people with the skills to face a world increasingly dominated by technology. In the near future, technologies such as AI, automation, robotics, nanotechnology, and others will transform most occupations. A whole range of occupations will need a high degree of cognitive skills like logical reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity. Therefore, education needs to be more than just formal schools producing an obedient and punctual workforce.
A 21st-century workplace would require phenomenon-based learning, which emphasizes skills like critical thinking, communication, and creativity. The role of teachers has to be redefined from a ‘sage on the stage’ to a guide who learns simultaneously with the students. Instead of conducting lectures in traditional classrooms, teachers will need to create and curate structured content for the students to absorb at their own pace.
Skill-based curriculums, learning, and assessments
Innovation is the key to creating ways of bringing people together to work and learn in a collaborative environment. With the development of various learning management systems, many schools are streamlining their way of functioning. These systems not only accommodate different styles of learning but also provide a platform where teachers can create skill-based curriculums and assessments. These innovative systems help teachers post worksheets, assignments, resources, and more for students to access from home or school.
These systems facilitate communication between teachers, students, and parents. Students get the opportunity to ask questions, interact with their teachers and peers, share their ideas, and do so much more. With the help of discussion boards and messaging apps in these systems, students can debate and learn how to communicate and collaborate effectively. Educators can connect with each other, update developments, ask and respond to questions, design skill-appropriate assessments, analyse, and provide constructive feedback on a single platform.
Analysing and managing progress
The learning management system helps teachers and parents monitor progress, track time spent on tasks, alerts educators about emerging issues and provides real-time glimpses of student and school performance. With interactive dashboards and various effective channels of communication, parents and teachers can track a child’s performance over the years while giving and receiving targeted feedback.
The parents can view their child’s courses, assignments, feedback received from teachers, attendance summary, grades, and so on. They can also analyse how the school and the educators are performing and provide appropriate feedback when necessary.
Customizing learning experience and integrating online learning
Technology will be at the heart of the learning space in the future and that’s why educators should understand that the idea of ‘one size fits all’ is not valid anymore. Efforts must be made to enhance the available content and create ways to personalize the learning experience to suit the unique needs of individual students. Online learning and learning management systems are the way to go in such circumstances because of the need for dynamic learning environments. It can no longer remain a passive, one-way flow of information. It is important to create collaborative spaces for students and teachers to communicate without a huge cost or the rigidity of a traditional AV infrastructure. Students no longer need to be in rooms to learn and it is becoming more and more apparent with an increasing number of students choosing blended learning environments where traditional campus learning is used in tandem with online education.
Interested in learning more about interactive and collaborative learning? Request a demo with team SKADEPT and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!