The Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’ Rightfully, education needs to steer students towards a greater sense of curiosity about the larger world that can motivate them to work towards collective transformations in society that can be deeply enriching for them too. This is more relevant than ever in the present world, which is rocked by increasing volatility, instability as well as constant change. How can students benefit from education in this constant motion of change? So what awaits education in the coming year?
Classrooms Wherever and Wherever
The pandemic accelerated virtual learning. Now, it is fast becoming a mainstay. Online learning is now an increasing necessity in terms of time and ease. Geography can no longer limit one’s learning opportunities. Most educational institutions are now offering online classes to a wide spectrum of students keen to learn from the comfort of their own homes or wherever they feel most comfortable in. It need not be a conventional academic environment, but rather a place where students feel comfortable. Institutions have to take note of this and try to facilitate some form of hybrid learning for the students. If one can work from anywhere, why can’t one learn from anywhere?
Educators Who Teach Virtually
As the penchant for online learning continues to grow, so does the impact on other aspects of education. One area is the skills of educators and instructors who are able to teach online courses virtually. Teachers who can conduct online lessons and have the ability to engage students during such lessons will be in demand by institutions as they seek to widen the scope of education. In addition to this, online educators also have to possess ample digital skills to enable them to use technologies effectively to teach their students in a virtual classroom.
Reskilling and upskilling for life
It used to be the case that we went to university and got a degree in a course we chose and went to work in jobs until we retired. That is no longer the case or is no longer feasible in present times.
Two years in January 2020, the World Economic Forum launched the Reskilling Revolution, to equip 1 billion people, by 2030 with better education, skills and jobs. The initiative is geared towards future-proofing workers from rapid technological change and aid economies by equipping them with new skills for Industry 4.0.
We have to learn, relearn and unlearn and perhaps repeat the process again in the face of change.
Continuous lifelong learning to upgrade our skills has become a significant factor for personal, career and business success.
The power to learn freely is in the hands of people. Now, it’s all about how they can gain access to the wide range of tools that can enable them to learn freely.
Nano learning on the rise
With all the zest for reskilling, people will be psyched to attend courses to learn. Nevertheless, most working adults may face challenges such as time and how much they can commit to learning at a course. This is where a shortened version of a course can be beneficial to people.
This is where nano learning, a technique also known as bite-sized learning where topics are broken down into smaller versions to enable learners to grasp the subject-matter easily within a shorter span of time. Students can learn subjects through smaller inputs in shorter time frames.
The primary objective is to deliver short and simple content in an engaging format. Examples of this format include social platforms such as YouTube and TikTok and the success of these platforms is indicative of the reception of nano learning amongst people. Educators need to deliver materials in bite-sized formats to enable a quicker adoption of the information by students.
Incorporating both technical and soft skills
As we navigate a complex world with new innovations, it is impossible to be armed with only technical expertise. We need the right mindset as well as attributes that will propel us to create and contribute to far greater heights. As people, we want to be resourceful to others and for that, we need to work with teams. Soft skills such as resilience, leadership and collaboration when combined with technical skills such as AI/machine learning, UX for design thinking in product development lifecycle will need to be taught jointly in curriculums to create more well-rounded individuals who can manage challenges in a complex world.
Education for a world that is yet to become
The world is changing constantly, and we do need to keep up with it to survive. How do we know what the world of tomorrow would look like? Are we able to envision it? Technology can give us a glimpse into it but by and large, it is still a world that is yet to become and which we are not fully aware of. Gaining skills and knowledge through educational tools is one way to navigate through the changes and challenges that come our way. However, carving out a healthy sense of inquisitiveness that can help us in our journey of discovery is what amounts to a transformative experience of education in the coming year and beyond.