The reimagined classroom can take place on four levels: primary school, secondary/high school, university, PhD and research schools. While all four avenues are equally important in enhancing the skillset of individuals at all ages, in this blog we will focus on the primary, secondary and university levels of education.
Primary education is for foundation building. If our foundation is not well developed, you cannot expect students to do much at the secondary level and practically nothing at the university level. So, what should you do? Primarily, as mentioned above and in our previous blog, the class needs to be reimagined, redesigned in such a way that the teacher is put at the forefront of change along with the help of technology.
In this model, technology needs to be user-friendly, and embedded with interesting content and pedagogical instruments so that the teacher has fun while teaching. With the help of these additions and tools, it is the teacher’s confidence in the classroom with go increase, therefore acting as a training process for them. This training will also involve an introduction to the philosophy of teaching. Though this may be a painstaking and long-term project, it is one that must be done. Unless it isn’t tapped into and talked about, no progress will be made within the classroom, putting bright, thought-leading students at a disadvantage. It is therefore the teacher’s quality that will be encouraged to improve.
Another aspect that needs to be investigated is the personality traits of a teacher. This involves anxiety tests to normalize them, and an active role analyzing a teacher’s well-being in order to make sure that they perform their best in the classroom. If the teacher is not happy in the classroom, the environment cannot be good regardless of if you have a high-technology teaching process.
From teaching philosophy, to their personal well-being to embedding technology in their classroom, as well as encouraging them to become subject-matter experts, these four elements combined are important for a teacher’s training to help aid their job. This helps assure that a teacher is ready to go in the classroom. Please note that this training will only work if applied to an on-the-job training process, where the teachers can be assigned as assistants first, and after a year-long training, can be promoted to a full-time teacher.
As written in our previous blog, primary school children should not be introduced to technology first-hand, rather they can be exposed to it through a medium such as the classroom discussions along with diagnostic tests that will analyze what a child’s progress is and help to decide next-best steps for a teacher’s intervention.
When we come to the secondary level of education, the reimagined classroom involves a pure blended learning model in which children are encouraged to be independent, through the teacher’s introduction of a ‘flip-learning’ mode of work. This involve lessons be given to students before-hand, making the class a place for innovation, concept-building and discussion rather than just route one-on-one learning. An additional advantage of this is that once a school starts implementing this, concepts of tuition outside of a school setting can be finished.
Finally, university level education is at the paradigm shift completely where only core courses are taught in class, whereas others will be taught through apprenticeship, i.e. in the field through employment or their own projects. This also means that a rather virtual interaction will take place between the university and the student, therefore showing a classroom that reimagined. This concept will be further discussed in another blog.
To conclude, I would like to reiterate what I mentioned in my previous blog: technology should not be used for the heck of it, rather as part of a larger strategy; a strategy that is student-centric not technology-centric. Integrating the fourth industrial revolution’s core values, i.e. analytical, critical, communication and collaboration skills is what is needed to help enhance and nurture a child’s learning process from the very beginning.
About the Author
Dr. Farrah Arif
With a PhD from University of Cambridge and a distinguished career as educationist, corporate trainer, strategic thinker and marketing consultant, Dr. Farrah Arif, Founder & CEO EDTechWorx and LUMS Executive in Residence, has helped many organizations optimize their business strategy to drive sustainable revenue growth and profits. Her areas of specialty are Business Digital Transformation Strategy, Marketing in the Digital Age, Consumer Data Analytics and Simulation, and Design Thinking.