Craig Tranter is a former educator, and now serves as a technology presenter for Cisco. This blog is the second in his series on advancements and opportunities in education. All views are his own.
In our last blog post, we finished with an extremely broad question: What’s the future of education?
Truth be told, that’s incredibly difficult to predict. But, there are a couple of concepts that should be developed in more depth in order to benefit our student population.
To introduce this section, let me first bring something to your attention. It may seem obvious, but we have become an extremely visually-orientated society that relies on technology. Don’t believe me? Let me pose a few questions to you, with some of my thoughts, and then you can be the judge.
Can you live without your smartphone?
Quite probably yes, but why would you want to? Don’t you love being able to check the weather, look up when the shops are open, search for that key citation that you need for your dissertation, all from your own personal device? I for one certainly would not want to make do without.
Have you ever Googled how to do something?
Of course you have! Everyone does. In fact, we all do it so much that the word ‘google’ has become a verb and is now part of our everyday vocabulary. Just google it!
Have you ever used a video streaming site to see how to do something?
I most definitely have. When my car breaks down, I’m not going to follow a complex step-by-step guide. I want to be able to see exactly how to fix it. We all prefer to see a demonstration and be able to replicate it. It’s as simple as ‘monkey see, monkey do’, with the added benefit that we can pause content and work at our own speed.
With the process of flipped learning, students are now able to consume the content in their own time, in a way that suits them. This could be a simple PDF document, or reading key pages from a textbook, but now, through the use of technology, we are able to produce visually engaging content that encourages students to extend their own learning beyond the classroom.
Gone are the dusty old textbooks and boring 300-page PDF documents. Imagine being able to use this technology to send out visually engaging content that students can rewind; pause; fast-forward; at their own pace to suit their learning speed. Students are differentiated by their choice, not the teacher. They can learn at their own speed and come prepared to their lessons with all the groundwork done. With very few contact hours in a standard university timetable, lessons can now be used as a way of extending learning, not simply delivering content. I mean honestly, who wants to pay £12,000 a year for a lecturer to read off a PowerPoint?
Watch out for the next post about video collaboration and support.