PBL promotes critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving, and enhances the learning potential for each student as they design their own learning path. Students need more real-world experiences, where they can assess needs in their community and brainstorm ways to effect changes that will positively impact others beyond their classroom walls.
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In my Spanish courses, I chose to implement project-based learning because it created more independent, student-driven learning. It broadened cultural awareness as we connected globally with students in Spain and Argentina and interacted with one another using different digital tools and sharing our experiences.
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Each student group has questions and curiosities, and through these authentic connections, we give our students an opportunity to learn about life beyond their own school and community. When students have the opportunity to create something of personal interest and to experience productive struggle when seeking answers to challenging questions, we better prepare them for an uncertain future of learning and work.
Several schools in the country are now offering courses in AI. With that being the prediction, students would benefit by learning about artificial intelligence and discussing the ethics surrounding its use. Students can learn how to use AI for good, become problem designers and create their own AI, rather than possibly being replaced by AI in the future of work. By giving all students the opportunity to understand, explore and design AI, we will foster innovation and provide all students with experiences and competencies that prepare them for the changes that AI might bring.
There are many ways students can develop skills for the future in coursework related to a STEAM curriculum or courses focused on coding. These experiences should be available for all students during their K through 12 education. Having opportunities to explore new technologies can lead students to discover their personal interests and experience more meaningful learning.
Students can figure out what they may be interested in, become curious for learning, engage in hands-on learning, problem-solving, and troubleshooting.
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We need students to understand how things work, how to iterate and design new technologies. Even in a world where there are countless apps available, many of which complete complex tasks, we still need humans to keep our technology relevant and competitive. Schools collaborate with local experts, businesses, community centers and other organizations to give students an opportunity to apply the content they are learning in the real world.
These opportunities foster student agency, inform students about local and global issues, and facilitate a personal investment in their work.
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When schools have their community become the classroom, it leads to higher student engagement and broadens student understanding and perspectives of the world they live in. Opportunities to engage in this hands-on learning not only builds rapport in the school community, but it gives students authentic, real-life work experience and a deeper level of understanding.
They can see how the world works, look for challenges and be a part of the solutions. Students could volunteer at community centers, travel to rural areas or even to a city to identify and solve problems like cleaning up the environment, starting a recycling program, planting a garden, or just talking with people to determine the issues that are affecting the community. We need to offer students a course, or at least part of the curriculum within a course, dedicated to providing the right learning experiences where students can work independently as well as collaboratively.
Entrepreneurial courses will foster critical thinking, problem-solving and time management skills as well as lead to other benefits. Students will develop social-emotional learning SEL skills by engaging in projects with a team to plan events, to set up a business, to create websites and manage a social media presence. Students need to know how to leverage technology and have the right digital skills that will prepare them for a variety of work environments, whether physical or virtual.
With the increase of technology use and platforms for business operations, companies are reducing the number of full-time employees and instead, hiring temporary employees or independent contractors, and in some cases, working in virtual spaces, requiring even fewer employees in a physical work space.
We need to help students think like entrepreneurs , and become the innovators of the future. Activities like these, or planning large scale events like community days, school open houses, family nights, or even sporting events, can give all students a solid foundation for how to manage projects, create their own business and find success. While adoption of technology has been far and wide, especially among the younger generation, we cannot force fit technology into education.
It needs to be effectively used to create solutions that will contribute to creating better, immersive and active learning experiences for students. What does the future of education entail? The future of learning and education is going to be about how children are positively impacted and the means through which it happens. It is only through tech-enabled education that we can address issues like access to quality content and teachers at scale. The proliferation of smart devices coupled with the democratization of the internet will lead to blended-learning that will bring the best from traditional and virtual classroom.
The use of technology will also bring down the cost of delivering and accessing quality education, no matter where the students are located. This will also allow for the creation of a more equitable education system. While recent advancements in education technology have made their mark and are helping educators create engaging learning experiences, a big push towards a widespread adoption of a tech-enabled learning approach is required. The current education system often leads to inconsistent outcomes since learning is mainly driven by the fear of exams or scoring high marks.
Barring the outliers—the top performers and the laggards—all other children are treated as a cohort and tend to fall through the cracks because of standardized testing and grading. Hence, we need to transform our education system through technology to accommodate conceptual and personalized learning. The classrooms of tomorrow will have technology at the core, empowering students to cross over from passive to active learning.
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Active learning is the key to preparing youth for the unseen jobs of tomorrow. With technology as an enabler, we can create a learning ecosystem that fosters self-initiated and lifelong learning, which in turn will contribute towards creating a powerful and productive young workforce. Gamification of education will be an integral part of the classrooms of tomorrow, as it will drive students more effectively towards various goals, behaviours and positive learning outcomes. Gamification ensures that the learning experience is fun, engaging and effective at the same time.
A combination of gamification techniques in learning ensures that students stay motivated. In the coming years, we will also see classrooms use game design principles that are based on fundamental human psychology and behaviour that drives certain reactions and success outcomes.
With gamification, the learning process can be crafted as adventurous journeys, sprinkled with learning, challenges, fun facts and personal insights. Technologies like augmented reality and virtual reality have shown adoption signs when it comes to creating fun and engaging learning experiences. But it is too early to comment on how far it can be scaled and if these technologies will become popular and mainstream.
There are several companies working on technological innovations in this space, and that is a good sign of things to come. Today, machine learning in education is used extensively to identify and understand student learning patterns and other strong data points.