Tech for effective teaching and learning: Making both our teachers and students future-ready

September 28, 2020 12:40 AM

The future of work is ever-evolving—right now coding is the new literacy, it could be machine learning tomorrow and bioinformatics or epistemic cognition the day after.

In most online classes, a child is usually immobile. This is not very different from a child sitting in a traditional classroom.In most online classes, a child is usually immobile. This is not very different from a child sitting in a traditional classroom.

By Noora Noushad

About 65% of children entering primary schools may end up working in job types that don’t yet exist—in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the skills needed are innovation, design thinking, technological fluency, heightened social emotional learning. The future of work is ever-evolving—right now coding is the new literacy, it could be machine learning tomorrow and bioinformatics or epistemic cognition the day after. The only thing we can do is build students’ ability to thrive in a world of constant change.

In the age of technology in education (edtech), we need to place education ahead of technology—go back to the drawing board to see where tech can truly influence educational outcomes. Adaptive learning is good, but great content comes first. Gamification is great, but intelligent assessment comes first. We need to focus on certain broad areas:

Revamp the content being taught in schools: A lot of skills that we currently teach are obsolete—the arithmetic in maths can be done by a calculator, and the solar system can be googled. Revamping of content is a mission that only educators, researchers and learning scientists who dive deep into the students ability to learn and unlearn can help solve.

Tech as an enabler

The limitation of online mediums of content delivery: In most online classes, a child is usually immobile. This is not very different from a child sitting in a traditional classroom. This nature of online consumption often incites worries of screen time. Also, immersive mediums such as augmented and mixed reality are largely underutilised in education. Online learning can’t do complete justice to a well-designed, engaging lesson plan, while immersive mediums can.

Mediums that offer ‘just in time’ learning opportunities for teachers: According to a survey, 75% of teacher training offerings are inefficient in addressing teaching needs, because (1) most physical training courses aren’t just-in-time interventions, these are largely theoretical in nature and aren’t available when the teacher needs them the most, and (2) most courses don’t scaffold teachers through the complexity of content—either they hand over PDFs without even a video reference of how you teach the content or they expect teachers to self-teach themselves. Online teacher training mediums provide a unique way of combating these issues, but if designed well.

Hence, if we want our teachers and students to be future-ready, we need to equip our teachers to constantly evolve by making their content relevant to the skills of the future and using technology effectively.

The author is head of Design & Technology, The Heritage Schools. Views are personal

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