Going Digital

May 24, 2017 Victor Calvo

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 smartphones 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.

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