Education : The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing (part 3)


By July 1, 2023

The role of technology

Far from establishing a distance, digital solutions can help bridge a gap between less and more participatory students, enabling the teacher to dedicate more time to those who need it most.

Far from dissimulating the human side of education, technology helps respond to basic needs, making the teacher a mentor and the student an actor of his own learning.

This is where digital technology should make a difference in the classroom and contribute to:

  • Increase the enjoyment and emotional connection that teachers have with students
  • Enhance peer interactions;
  • Decrease the level of aggressive relationships
  • Prevent misbehaviour in daily routine
  • Ensure maximum time is spent in learning activities
  • Facilitate group activities so that learning opportunities are maximized.
  • Expand participation and learning through feedback to students
  • Improve teachers’ responsiveness to students’ needs;

A few tips for distance learning: Less is more

– Do as usual! Prepare your lesson before giving it on a virtual platform

– Each online lesson should last a maximum of 30’

– Avoid reinventing content

– Do not confuse your learners with an overambitious use of third party tools and services

– Use a regular pattern of communication to help establish a sense of community

– Maintain student attention during content delivery

– Extend the life of a lesson beyond its final assessment

– Set clear and measurable learning outcomes

– Use carefully positioned quizzes to pause your learners and prompt reflection

– Use additional platforms to support your teaching where the central plaform’s functionality falls short

– Encourage learners to engage in authentic tasks

– Direct social dynamics by highlighting selected contributions

– Develop your students as autonomous learners by asking them to continue the work at home

-Use a provocative question to wake up the class and extend a live debate after class in a discussion forum

(adapted from MOOC Design Patterns Project, Warburton and Mor, 2015)

Towards a new school project

Schools won’t be the same after this crisis. A lot has been learned about our limitations and resilience when faced with the urgency to teach and learn.

Students will go back to school but school will have to rethink their project.

I will suggest 10 criteria that could characterize a new school project

1. Innovative learning experience

A school project should foster student’s ability to learn how to learn and develop as a human being.

2. Participatory Method

A school project should recognize the unique capacity of children to engage with essential problems in their community and lead the change by bringing new solutions.

3. Creativity

A school project should enhance students’ creativity, make them think differently, unveiling their talents and helping each of them to take the best of them.

4. Teacher’s role

A school project need to be designed from the perspective of the teacher rather than using him as a mere instrument for projects that have been designed neither with him nor for him. Teachers should be directly involved in project’s monitoring and evaluation.

5. Knowledge activation

A school project is not so much about the quantity of knowledge it deals with but about the opportunities provided to students to activate knowledge in real-life situations.

6. Digital transformation

Schools must be prepared to operate continously on two dimensions: in the physical space and at a distance. Different strategies must coexist but the main principles of education for all remain.

7. Behaviour change

A school project is a transformation tool enabling behavioral changes on a number of issues. Students as individuals and in groups should be empowered to investigate a problem, design solutions, take actions and evaluate them.

8. Families’ involvement

A school project has to be inclusive and take into account multiple learning spaces, thus strengthening family participation in the learning process. The intergenerational dimension of learning is essential to social and family cohesion.

9. Community impact

A school project should have a transformative, multiplying and long-lasting impact in the surrounding community involving local actors in a shared learning experience.

10. Contribution to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

A school project should consider all SDGs starting with climate change as a transversal priority for the whole learning process and should directly contribute to the goals’ achievements.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

“The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing”. In this time of changes, we realize more than ever that teaching is and remains a two way thing!

Schools’ future has to be designed by all of us.

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