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Technology bringing about a new era in Education and Collaboration

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From the use of connected mobile devices to the proliferation of online learning programs, technology is bringing about a new era in education — one that challenges old assumptions about learning, such as that face-to-face is the best or only way to go, or that true learning takes a long time. To these and other such assumptions is coming evidence saying otherwise:

  • Learning through e-learning requires 40 to 60 per cent less time than learning that takes place in a “traditional” classroom. (Source: Brandon-Hall Group study)
  • E-learning retention rates are between 25 and 60 per cent, while face-to-face learning results in retention rates of only eight to 10 per cent. (Source: Research Institute of America)

One of the more rapidly growing trends at all levels of education is the use of tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices. And yet, until recently, mobile devices were being used almost exclusively as substitutes for books and handouts and pen and paper. However, these technologies are of late being used to transform how instruction and learning actually take place.

Through the use of mobile devices, teachers are swapping out old models of standardized learning-by-memory for dynamic, personalized, and self-directed learning experiences for students. Students today are not only comfortable around technology but in fact, respond very favourably to it. They are not confined to traditional learning environments, but are learning — or open to learning — any time, from anywhere, on any device.

Education should now cover this base and others, including increasing the potential for learning and teaching through collaboration with peers and experts, regardless of location; updating workspaces to increase productivity; and providing unlimited access to educational resources, regardless of location or device

On April 23rd, join ITWC CIO and Chief Digital Officer Jim Love and Cisco education advocate Dr Lance Ford for “Creating a New World of Learning and Collaboration,” which presents a reimagined educational experience through digital learning. Among the topics to be discussed in this one-hour webinar:

  • Better learning using any device, anywhere, at any time
  • Securely linking students, teachers, peers, parents and subject matter experts
  • Increasing student engagement and collaboration by individualizing and differentiating the instruction
posted Mar 22, 2019 by Monich

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The future classroom needs to be radically different in order to become relevant for the new era of education. Technology will be at the centre of this metamorphosis. When our parents recall their school days, they make no big deal about a makeshift class under a tree. They were used to taking down notes from blackboard on which teachers would write using dusty chalk. With time, chalk and duster were replaced with touchscreens, audio-visual facilities, and the era of digital learning started.

However, the journey will be much more exciting in the next decade. Here are the 5 things that will not be same in the future classrooms:

 

1. Question papers and answer sheets

We have already seen some tests being conducted online. However, as technology becomes more accessible and affordable, it will largely replace pen and paper-based tests.

The rationale is simple. Online tests need lesser logistical arrangements, can be customized for different batches, and evaluated quickly and accurately using artificial intelligence and algorithms.

Imagine the time saved by future high school and 12th aspirants when they receive their board exam results within a week, thanks to online examination. They can plan the future course of their career and do not have to spend months in speculation.

 

2. Practice books

Practice makes a man perfect. All of us have heard (and practiced) it. But technology will change the way students practice.

For instance - Avocado, an app enables students to practice questions from Maths and Science. Using Avocado, student can get customized practice tests, detailed explanation for answers, and review their results with just a few taps.

What makes a digital platform for practice like Avocado unique is the insights based on test results over a period of time. This helps the students understand areas which require intervention from their teacher or parents.

Using Avocado and similar practice solutions, parents and teachers can also track the progress of their wards and make informed decisions to improve speed and accuracy. All these details are available on a smartphone- anytime, anywhere.

 

3. Computer labs

Once upon a time, computers were a rare commodity for Indian students. The weekly computer lab class was their chance to touch, feel, and see this magic box.

However, this is no more the case. With digital revolution, most middle-class families can afford a personal computer.

Moreover, about 337 million smartphones make India world’s second largest smartphone equipped population. Over the next five years, smartphones and tablets will completely transform the look and feel of computer labs in schools.

These labs will follow Bring-Your-Own-Device and Do-It-Yourself approach. Meanwhile, teachers can take the role of mentors.

There will be many innovations that trigger self-learning in computer labs. For example, Cubetto is a friendly wooden robot that can teach early age learners the basics of computer programming through adventure and hands-on play.

The Cubetto Playset consists of a friendly robot made of hard-wearing wood, a physical programming board, and a set of colourful coding blocks that make up a programming language you can touch.

 

4. Textbooks

Typically, textbooks are written assuming one-size-fits-all’. The need of the hour is to customize the learning journey for every student based on speed, understanding, and interests. E-books can fill this much-needed gap.

Powered by virtual learning, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, e-books are well suited for supplementing conventional textbooks. Students also appreciate the interactive nature of E-books.

Having said that, textbooks are and will remain an important part of the education system. We will see an amalgamation of both textbooks and e-books going ahead.

 

5. Benches and desks

 

The neat rows of benches are meant to seat students in a way that they focus on the teacher delivering a lecture and demonstrating concepts on the board. But this approach will soon go out of favour.

Future classrooms will have flexible seating arrangement suited for the task that students are working on. The design will also consider comfort of the students.

Standing desks for those who find it hard to focus while sitting, accommodation for physically challenged, collaborative stations for group activities, and moving walls to make the space more adaptable are some classroom design innovations that will become the new normal.

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