With an inevitable reliance on devices that are as distracting as ever, and a shift towards recognizing the importance of application, educators and teachers are wondering how they can continue to engage students on a deep level.
They’ve proactively started refining their approaches to teaching. Let’s have a look at a few of their latest developments:
For those of you unfamiliar with the term “Just-in-Time”, it’s a system used in operations management. Basically, with a JIT system, all supplies arrive just in time to be assembled. This means that workers have to only move stuff once (from the loading dock to the assembly line), and there are no inventory costs.
On a similar parallel, Just-in-Time Learning happens when students learn as they need the knowledge. For example, students will be given a relevant problem to solve at the beginning of class. They’ll be forced to start asking and searching around for methods to solve it. Learning becomes a byproduct, and is contextualized and applied to the problem. Students can recognize why this knowledge is valuable.
Homework has always been a crucial part of learning; it is where problems are solved, concepts are applied, and complex concepts become much clearer. Unfortunately, many obstacles stand in the way of proper homework guidance.
For one thing, a lot of students get stuck on problems. They get discouraged and give up, or cheat by peeking at answers.
What if there was a method where teachers could guide students through problems, and clarify homework questions? This is where I’ve found my own tutors and peers to be most effective, and where services like Rayku come in.
There’s a simple solution to this: students watch lectures at home, and then do homework at school. This is known as the “flipped classroom.”
The Woodland Park High School is credited as the pioneer of the flipped classroom. Two high school chemistry teachers realized a lot of their students were missing class due to sports games and extracurricular activities, so they started recording lectures accompanied by a corresponding Powerpoint and made lectures available on the internet.
The original pioneers, Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams, found:
- Flipped classrooms increase student interaction — students engage more with teachers, as well as amongst each other.
- Teachers can help students immediately as they get stuck, or students can be organized into peer groups to help each other push past individual problems.
- Teachers can now chat with parents more precisely about their child’s performance, and whether or not they are learning.
Flipped classrooms have been adopted in places as far as Japan. They’ve been proven to be more effective than listening to a teacher yammer for an hour or two. Will schools be adaptive enough to embrace the flipped classroom method? How do we ensure students pay attention to the lectures while they’re at home? (Keep in mind there’s no guarantee that they are engaged even as they sit in the same classroom as the teacher. Hence doodles in notebooks and whispers in the back of the class.)
The infrastructure that the web offers allows us to distribute learning via video. Organizations like MIT and the Khan Academy have started collaborating to produce videos for K-12 students. It reminds me of a more modern version of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Physical locations are no longer a constraint to delivering great lessons. In the autumn of 2011, Stanford started offering free engineering lectures online. 160,000 students from 190 countries signed up for Professor Sebastien Thrun’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class. At the end of the semester, students were given pass or fail grades, and awarded with certificates of completion with Thrun’s name on them (but not Stanford’s).
As distance learning becomes a tool more commonly employed, will certificates change from degrees to personal endorsements? Or will large schools pick up on this trend and adapt their curriculum accordingly?
It has been a blast exploring these transformations in technology and education. You have the ability to embrace any of these possibilities, and revolutionize your students’ (or your own) education in doing so. Best of luck, and we look forward to seeing how you continue to change the world of learning.