Measuring Innovation in Education through New Perspectives
July - August 2017

Measuring Innovation in Education through New Perspectives

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Chris-CobbInnovation in education does not just mean more use of latest technology. The true educational innovation can be found in processes, services, programmes and partnerships, says Chris Cobb, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, University of London, in an interview with Elets News Network (ENN).

What do you see as the biggest opportunity when it comes to igniting excitement in education or boosting motivation?
We live in a rapidly changing world and we need to prepare young people to be agile with core skills of evidence-based decisions and critical thinking so that they can adapt to change and be prepared for jobs and careers that have not yet been thought of. The University of London has been spearheading changes since 1836, and through its international programmes, it is now at the forefront of these developments.

How can social media be used to enhance student learning?
Social media is now invaluable in connecting peers in collaborative learning and problem solving. Today, peer networks can stretch continents rather than just physical classrooms. The digital footprints that they make can then be reflected on and reused to inform the pedagogic process and support future learners. Social media also supports the notion of the flipped classroom, with intensive interactions outside the traditional place of learning.

Today, peer networks can stretch continents rather than just physical classrooms. The digital footprints that they make can then be reflected on and reused to inform the pedagogic process and support future learners.

Why do you think it’s important for schools to think education first, rather than tech?
It is pointless to look for the solutions of the problems that do not exist. Technology is at its best when it is serving a demand e.g. improved speed, flexibility or scalability, or resolving a problem such as cost, business continuity or extensibility. Education is no different. If technology can improve understanding, learning experience, reduce the cost of delivery and ensure learners can continue to learn wherever or whenever they wish then the technology will be successful. If it is simply a new gadget that costs more, success will be elusive. Since the University of London first began providing distance learning in 1858, our tools for successful student engagement have constantly evolved; so that today we have a sophisticated platform that brings together 52,000 students in over 180 countries.

How World Education Summit can play an important role in transforming the educational landscape at national and global level?
Almost all research and learning is building on the work of others that have gone before. Innovation in education is the same. It is essential for colleagues from across institutions and different regulatory regimes to learn from one another, particularly so, in this evermore connected world in which we live.

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