innovate education

But how did the teachers fare? You hear different stories, teachers who are super creative and experimental with digital tools, teacher who are eager to learn, collaborate, innovate… and teachers who do not know how to start with this…

A major pitfall was the lack of knowledge of the technological tools that can be used. That causes great uncertainty for the teacher… can you imagine the teacher’s behavior, a switch to control, being strict, or giving up? Teh support towards teachers wasn’t equal. We saw big differences between schools.

Education a wicked problem: let take a look at the lockdown in Finland!

In Finland, where teachers are highly regarded, teachers were supported and supported each other

1. by sharing resources, material and experiences within the communities of teachers, and through the schools communication tools.

2. There are tutor teachers, taking the role of “teach the teacher” – also befor covid19. In this way each teacher got a better insight in:

  • the available edtech tools at the school?
  • the pedagogical differences between the tools?
  • How to achieve the maximum pedagogical added value of such tools. There are many tools, but a tool to simply use a tool does not produce the desired effects.

3. The teachers quickly developped their digital skills. More and more student-centered tools were used as self-directed and selective learning was used more then before. Of course, you still have to consider which methodology is best for the

  • learners
  • topic
  • available material
  • learning objectives

For a certain group of students, those who had difficulty concentrating in school or were bullied at school, the learning situation was much better during the lockdown than before. Besides the greater use of self-directed and self-selective learning means that teaching can be more personalized for each student.

The domain of well-being and opportunities for innovation.

Education is a wicked problem. The lockdown was a very challenging situation, where we suddely felt into. The teachers had little insight into the well-being of the students. There is a piece of communication and interaction that was missed. There are certainly still opportunities for innovation on this road!

It was also a difficult time for parents to combine a full-time job with the support in learning paths of their children. Back to Finland for a moment: the communication between the school, parents, and teachers teachers was closely monitored. Teachers also gained insight into how a student should study at home, COVID, or not. Are there enough devices? Is there enough rest or not? Did they receive enough support from the home front? The teachers were able to intervene and coach.

Collaboration and innovation

“There is no going back to school, only a going forward”

What can we best focus on at the start of the new school year? You can only solve a wicked problem such as education step by step. Cooperation and innovation are then important key concepts.

Being a teacher is often a lonely job and yes … there are certainly egos. Place more emphasis on collaboration and co-teaching. On the other hand, being open to innovation, experimentation, and fast iteration. Detect a problem together with the teachers, students, parents, and school administration, break with the strong hierarchy, experimente, iterate… work together on new innovative approaches.

Future of hybrid learning or blended learning or hybrid blended learning?

With hybrid learning we mean that the students are taught at different places. It is a combination of face to face learning at school and self-study at home. It is a teaching method where teachers instruct in person and remote students at the same time. Asynchronous teaching methods can be used to supplement synchronous face to face instruction.

Blended learning does not concern the place, but the tools. So blended learning involves a combination of traditional tools such as books, paper and digital tools on the other hand.

If we move towards more problem-based learning and student-centered learning. I think that a combination of hybrid and blended learning is best, especially to personalize learning paths. In this way, students are also motivated to:

  • think solution-oriented,
  • collaborate,
  • learn how to use digital tools
  • know their advantages and limitations.

Lifelong learning

For teachers, this means that their job will change dramatically. As a result the following things become (even) more important:

  • have passion and great knowledge/expertise
  • are eager to learn about topics outside their field of expertise
  • see and make cross-pollination between topics
  • continuously motivating students, even if it is hybrid learning
  • learning to make it attractive and fun
  • coaching
  • develop new systems
  • more cooperation with other teachers, but also with students, parents, and school.
  • Innovate, collaborate, experimentate

Which of the previous points will you take on your plate next week? … And the week after?

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