“We dropped over $10,000 last year on a math product, but I’m not sure if it’s really helped our students learn.” Sound familiar? Educators frequently agree that it’s challenging to draw a direct correlation between technology and student success but, How do we measure technology’s effectiveness? To answer that question is helpful to keep in mind that “It’s not about the new toys. It’s about teaching kids to think.”
A unique school has turned the conventions of traditional teaching radically upside down. There are no grades, no timetables and no lecture-style instructions. Pupils choose their own subjects and when they want to take an exam. For a course called "challenge", students are given €150 and sent on an adventure that they have to plan entirely by themselves. The philosophy behind these innovations is simple: as the labour market is changing, the most important skill a school can pass down to its students is the ability to motivate themselves.
Sal Khan, a pioneer of online tutorials with his successful Khan Academy, has established a private brick-and-mortar laboratory school in Silicon Valley. The kindergarten through eighth-grade school currently serves some 65 students. There are no grades or grade levels; there's no traditional homework. Students shape their own schedules, craft attainable daily and term goals. This is how a day at the Khan Lab School looks like.
Amazon announced it would introduce an online marketplace with tens of thousands of free lesson plans, worksheets and other instructional materials for teachers, called Amazon Inspire. By starting out with a free resources service for teachers, Amazon is establishing a foothold that could expand into a one-stop shopping marketplace. The service will be available in late August or early September.
The traditional credit hour may be on the way out as competency-based learning and more flexible options come into demand. This according to the report, “Transformations Affecting Postsecondary Education” that says that in order to change higher education, students need to follow personalized pathways to a credential, guided through a combination of coaching and electronic advising. While badges and microcredentials would be placed in e-portfolios that can be taken with them throughout their life.
The traditional model of education is hierarchical, with administrators of learning on top and students receiving the learning somewhere below. While this made sense in the past, it does not work in a modern classroom. Visualizing learners as collaborators is the first step in changing the tone of your classroom. As critical decisions are identified, analyzed, modeled, and revisited, capacity in students will begin to grow. This honors students more than any granular notion of content might, and begins to build learners rather than learning.
Educational Innovation Weekly Reviewis curated by Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation. With the highlights of the week on innovation, technology and education. If you require more information about a specific note, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org. TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, 2016.
Observatory of Educational Innovation
Tecnológico de Monterrey's Observatory of Educational Innovation: We identify and analyze the educational innovation trends that are shaping the future of learning and education.
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