Now showing items tagged Education
In a world that is becoming more and more futuristic by the minute, there are few places that need our attention as urgently as education. While innovations and changes may represent exciting strides towards the future for those of us already in the adult world, they place urgent demands on the knowledge and skills of today’s students - the ones who will actually inhabit the future that is approaching.
Today’s students need to be equipped within innovative classrooms with adaptable skills for their unpredictable futures. However, for teachers, the disruption of the pandemic to students’ learning, the speed at which technologies like ChatGPT are infiltrating the classrooms and ever-increasing layers of bureaucracy mean integrating innovation and creativity in the classroom is often far beyond their capacity.
If you have been anywhere close to LinkedIn or business news over the past few weeks you would have encountered the conversation surrounding ChatGPT. Launched in November 2022 by OpenAI and stirring up the tech world since, this new AI chatbot is unparalleled in its capacity to seem truly human. Able to carry out flawlessly natural conversations, as well as replicate the language of humans across a range of contexts, this technological innovation and its many applications are raising some serious questions.
The 20th century model of learning has well and truly had its day. Time spent memorising, cramming, and silently listening to teachers lecturing is wasted in an age of accessible information and collaboration. Schools in the 21st century are quickly discovering the necessity of adjusting their teaching methods for an era that makes very different demands of the individual than the previous one.
The importance of technology in education is becoming increasingly undeniable in schools around the globe. As the future steadily approaches us, today’s students and teachers simply cannot exclude digital literacy and technological competence from the skillset being learned. COVID has accelerated the integration of technology into schooling, as remote learning has required innovative solutions to everyday lessons.
Australia’s reform to its national assessment program, NAPLAN, to include digital literacy in its testing is a clear indication of the necessary advancements of education in keeping up with the times. COVID has meant that learning these crucial digital skills has become a top priority and students and teachers alike will benefit from this long-term. Online learning, innovative technology and digital abilities as seemingly niche as coding, are now essential for students’ preparation for the future.
One of the strangest notions I come across routinely in my work with educators is that of the ‘real world’, usually spoken of in opposition to the world of education. When leaders, parents or teachers themselves separate the education of tomorrow’s workers, leaders and problem-solvers, from their future real world, they put that future at a serious risk.
In order to make learning experiences meaningful and impactful, it is this divide between the learning environment and the so-called ‘real world’ that needs to be demolished. Teachers who hope to make learning relevant and engaging must go to great lengths to bring the outside world into their classrooms. While in the past there were practical barriers to this, technology enables a real connection with the outside world in some wonderfully exciting ways.
The need for change in education has been an urgent topic of interest in recent years. As it is perhaps the most future-focussed industry that exists, equipping the innovators, workers and leaders of tomorrow, its vulnerability to current disruption is a necessary area of concern.
For years, it has been clear that education needs to evolve. Many teaching methods felt outdated when I was in school, let alone for current students who are preparing for a future that is fast-approaching.
The adults of tomorrow need to be equipped with skills that enable critical, creative and innovative thinking, but the teaching of today continues to drill existing knowledge and tired paradigms into students.
It may sound like something out of a sci-fi film, but technology firm Promethean recently trialled the use of an interactive hologram teacher in a London classroom. Known as a ‘HumaGram’ this holographic educator is touted as being highly interactive and extraordinarily lifelike.
Readin, writin’ and ‘rithmetic… I’m sure that if many of us Gen X and older were to return to our schooling days it may have resembled something like this. For generations, education has involved the rote learning of dates, formulas and quotes which are forgotten as soon as they are assessed.
If there is any industry prone to disruption, it is education. The fundamental place for future preparation, you would expect the schooling system to be ahead of its time with its eyes on the future, but as the world had changed rapidly in recent decades, it has proved itself prone to walking in the steps of the past.
If you rose through the grades of the schooling system in the last forty years or so, it is almost certain that at some point you were encouraged toward university. With its lures of prestige and its promises of the expansion of the mind, and a cap, gown and certificate waiting at the end, it has kept young people captivated by the hope of their own future.
Inversely, vocational training, apprenticeships and industry work have been negatively affected by people’s prejudices against them. Presenting as paths of education with fewer prospects, less prestige and less purpose, numbers within them have dropped dramatically compared to tertiary education, and society is feeling the burden of this imbalance.