Education as an institution has gone a long way since Plato established his school of philosophy around 385 BC. From a very strict and formal classroom setting where the teacher was seen as the omniscient leader and the students his submissive followers, and where the saying “Spare the rod and spoil the child” was the pervasive philosophy, the worldview of education has changed tremendously throughout the years.
Whereas in the old days formal education was mostly for boys, by the 21st century, majority of all children in most regions of the world attended school. If there’s one thing that most of the world agree on, it’s the importance of education in the development of any country. Thus, when the United Nations drew up its list of Millennium Developmental Goals for the year 2015 during the Millennium Summit in 2000, achieving universal primary education was included. And though barriers still remain, significant progress has already been achieved, thanks in part to the advancements in technology that have paved the way for global trends in education.
Technology has become a ubiquitous part of our everyday lives, and it has spawned a new generation of students to whom a regular lecture from their teachers is not enough to satiate their taste for knowledge. These kids, as young as kindergarteners, have access to technology’s golden child, the smart phone, which has opened the whole world to them. As a result, they expect a whole new level of engaging learning. Fortunately, today’s global trends in education are addressing this development.
Technology as instructional tool
Not necessarily just using tablets in place of books, but actually integrating technology into the curriculum, which means students can take online reading comprehension practice or even SAT practice and mathematics problems. Discussion of current events can also include online news sources. Through this, students will have a realistic snapshot of what modern education looks like, enhance their creativity, and provide a forum to challenge them intellectually.
Technology as a learning tool
Instead of viewing mobile gadgets as a source of distraction, they can be used as a learning tool. Through smart phones and tablets, up-to-date learning materials can be provided in an instant. They can also be used to store digital versions of textbooks, making access to information easier. There will also be improved teacher-student communication, as both parties are literally one phone call—or text message—away.
Asset-based instructions to improve quality of teaching and learning
An asset-based approach uses people’s own knowledge, skills, and lived experience of issues encountered to achieve positive change. This means recognizing students’ strengths and weaknesses and making them feel that they themselves can contribute to their own educational growth.
Enhanced creativity among learners
Software and mobile apps can be used to prod students to become as creative as ever with school projects that in turn can serve as excellent tools for formative and summative assessment. Student-designed products make these learners active partners in constructing learning experiences in and outside the classroom.
Education without borders
Incorporating online, e-learning, offshore campuses, and distance learning, borderless education provides quality education to all students as a single curriculum is used. It is also easily accessible, as long as there is Internet connection, thus proving to be a cheaper alternative.