WRITTEN BY THEA C. MYHRVOLD//FOUNDER OF TEACH ME NOW

 

The biggest trend that is shaking up the education space, as well as other industries, is the disruptive application of technology. My vision is for education to become more accessible through use of modern technology.

We are seeing that initiatives like MOOC’s are popular however, they fail in engagement and completion rates. Are MOOC’s the future of education and the answer to your question? No, a great start but not an A+.

MOOC’s have been fantastic in the sense that education is in need of change, and MOOC’s were the first trend to get something right. It created access to education and resources that were not otherwise available. There is something exciting and democratic about that notion. It has become a form of a global public library for online lectures and courses.

Why MOOC’s are not the future of education, has to do with the lack of personalisation, and the design of the system itself. What is happening now is that we are copy / pasting the old model of having a lectures and publishing it online. There is nothing personal about this form of teaching. (Several studies have shown this, you can find a good overview here: Why MOOCs are Failing the People They’re Supposed to Help – The New Yorker)

The challenge will come when we see how technology can change the way we learn in personal and optimal way. Helping students to learn better and faster, and help teachers become more efficient.  

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An important aspect here is to make education optimised for everyone involved in the educational process – teachers, students, parents and administrations. Educational technology has a major design flaw and that is the exclusion of educators and students, who need to be a part of the conversation. What form that will take and what the right answer is we will only be able to see what works with time.

It brings us to an important definition of what is education? We generally define this term by a traditional stereotype or school scenario. We see learning taking place in a psychical space ( a classroom), where you have a teacher systematically instruct a group of students. Education goes beyond a classroom.

Learning takes place constantly, whether we are aware of that we are learning or not. How do we define who can share knowledge and how do we measure learning and development? What are we teaching our students and how do we define what should be taught in a world that is constantly changing. These are all fundamental questions that need to be considered. We need to critically evaluate where we are today, to understand where and what we should be aiming for.

On that note, we are already seeing the first steps of change, with personal and focused initiatives like smart gaming apps like Dragon Box (DragonBox – Discover the game of Math), and personal instruction like Teach Me Now (TeachMeNow).

Education is evolving and change is happening. The future generation of teachers will grow up to be as tech savvy as the students they are teaching. Education is transforming and we are starting to see signs of what the future might bring

What are your thoughts on where the future is headed, and what do you hope to see?

What is the future of education?
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