April 20, 2018

21st Century Education

In a relatively short period of time, the world around us has become a complex place to live in. The advent of globalization and proliferation of cutting edge technology have transformed the way we live, work, and learn. Information Technology has enabled the sharing of ideas between a set of people living in vastly different cultures and economies. These factors have greatly affected the way we acquire and process information. The world has become fast paced and so has our ability to sustain this pace.
The present as well as the future calls for 'Dynamic Learning', which is the term used for both the technology and the methodology for learning delivery. It is a paradigm shift in learning that combines the use of diverse but complementary tools such as simulations, animations, blogs, wikis, and other software. This methodology breaks away from the traditional form of learning which was structured around the 3 Ts: text-books, time-tables, and tests.

Video Source: RSA Animate

Today's learner has become more practical and craves for interaction and personalization. The learning process is now less driven by the needs of the institute or organization and more by those of the individual learner. Learners have become technologically savvy and want to approach life and business issues with a more pragmatic, problem solving approach. Changing learner demographics along with a more business-centric culture has created a climate where the use of experiential learning is essential. Learning 2.0 is defined not only by greater autonomy for the learner, but also by a greater emphasis on active learning, with feedback, communication, and collaboration playing key roles in developing the learner's skills and knowledge.

Consequently, the role of the trainer is changing to the extent of eliminating the boundary that has traditionally existed between trainer and learner. Although trainers retain many of their traditional roles, they now need to wear many hats in the classroom by adopting innovative learning techniques. Instructional design is one of the crucial new roles in which trainers must not only design, but also plan, and organize lessons by effective means of technology. The instructional designer has to understand and meet the specific learning needs of learners and implement well designed activities to address those needs. The role of the modern trainer has changed to foster skills development by creating real-world models that the learners can interact with in real-time. In addition to opening up opportunities for collaborative learning activities, trainers must create opportunities for peer learning and sharing of ideas between learners. Finally, trainers need to be mentors who provide personal assistance, advice, and suggestions that help learners to make sound life decisions and find the precise information they need.

Technology is enhancing teaching and learning in a variety of institutions from schools to higher education throughout the world. Technology assisted pedagogical practices and inquiry based learning promotes the culture of problem solving and active learning in learners. They arm learners with essential skills that will allow them to analyze and organize information, while communicating and expressing their ideas in a variety of forms.