Breaking away the conventional classroom teaching, today there is a need for learning to take place anytime, anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for a learner and interests him, writes Ratna D Reddy, Founder Director,Chirec International for Elets News Network (ENN).
Driven by technological innovations, most professions have made dramatic changes in the way they function. While teaching still appears a lot like it did when the teachers were themselves students, there are few key trends that are fast driving change in the world of education. These trends would perhaps define the emergence of a new system in the future.
Transition from teaching to learning
From time immemorial, teaching has followed the process of transferring information from the teacher to the learner on one-on-one basis. This methodology has created a demand for experts at every level, who are required to create coursework so that information can be transferred in an organised way for effective learning.
Breaking away the conventional classroom teaching, today there is a need for learning to take place anytime, anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for a learner and interests him. This learning has led to an urgent need for teachers to transition from topic experts to a role where they can become mentors to inspire an environment of learning.
Constant research and development has led to creation of new concepts requiring experts to decode their meaning. Due to this, there has been a need to simplify the process of attaining and grasping information as information is not just text based today – it is graphical, musical, based on audio and visual adaptation.
Technological innovations in education
Technological innovation has facilitated imparting information and knowledge beyond the walls of the classroom. There are attempts being made to translate and package these blocks of information into digital courseware, which has allowed learning to take place anytime and anywhere.
The Open Education Movement was inspired by the open source software movement and mixes the powerful communication abilities of the internet and applies the result to teaching-learning materials. Some open education projects like MIT Open CourseWare, Wikiversity and Moodle are efforts that encourage contributions from all corners.
Social environments of learning camps
The online education movement has pushed towards individualised instruction for students as opposed to learning that happens inside a social context. When a classmate asks a question, the whole class learns. These are pieces of the learning environment that may disappear if the learning process becomes too hyper individualised.
It can be argued that learning can best be achieved through hands-on experiences. Keeping this in view, learning camps ranging from one day camps to multi week camps, would proliferate around specific topics in future.
Emergence of relevant curricula
This is important in fulfilling the gap between education and employment. Competency based certifications, testing specific skills and bundling individual skills into professional groupings will become a global currency for both employers and job seekers.