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The future of learning and teaching: Big changes ahead for education

As the world changes to embrace technological futures, how and what we teach in our educational system will be reshaped to meet the growing demands of the twenty-first century.

The Future of Learning and Teaching: Significant Changes in Education
As the world changes to embrace technological futures, how and what we teach in our educational system will be reshaped to meet the growing demands of the twenty-first century.

Professor Tricia McLaughlin of RMIT School of Education spoke with us about four key ways education will change in the near future.

1. Networking, collaboration, and co-creation
The idea of a teacher standing in front of a classroom full of students who listen and respond to instruction is becoming increasingly obsolete.

While not an entirely novel approach, student learning spaces will eventually replace the traditional classroom. Students will become partners or co-creators of their own learning as a result of this.

“Experiences that allow all students to collaborate, communicate, and work together frequently occur outside of the classroom walls.” “We must facilitate these experiences in context, and our classrooms must reflect this,” McLaughlin says.

They will be set up to allow individuals, small groups, and larger groups to collaborate on learning projects.

Classrooms will coexist as both physical and virtual spaces, flipping the current learning model on its head so that students can learn at home and spend class time collaborating and applying their knowledge to real-world issues.

2. Learning at any time and from any location
As we ride the digital wave, it is becoming easier to connect with people all over the world. With the click of a button or a simple voice command, you can access a world of information, and as technology advances, students must adapt their learning to keep up.

When it comes to learning, technology is no longer a motivator; it is a requirement. It is something that must be incorporated into the future of education to ensure that students are prepared to cope in a technologically dependent world.

While some argue that using technology in the classroom causes students to become lazy and disconnected, McLaughlin believes this is a myth. She claims that technology has pushed the boundaries of where, with whom, and why learning can take place.

“The reality is that classrooms can be located anywhere and at any time.” “At any given time, students can be working on projects in virtual contexts with students from all over the world,” she says.

With the push of a button, technological advances have enabled the interconnection of information and people.

Future education will need to demonstrate how technology can be used to benefit students while also teaching future generations how to deal with problems that arise as a result of it.

“Technology has the potential to change learning forever, and we must embrace it and use it to our advantage,” McLaughlin says.

3. Individualization for a learner-centered approach
Along with our changing ideas about what constitutes a classroom, our ideas about how teaching is delivered must also evolve.

“Most professions treat each individual’s case differently – each doctor’s patient has personalized treatment plans.” “Education should be no different,” says McLaughlin.

She claims that the old ‘one size fits all’ model of teaching and learning is out of date and has no place on the agenda for future education. Teachers will become learning facilitators, and students will have more control over their own learning journey.

“Previously, regardless of ability or skills, all children did the same work.” “We now know that this contributes to disengagement, inappropriate behavior, and poor outcomes,” she says.

As a result, teachers will have individualised learning plans for students, allowing each student to learn at their own pace and engage with content that is most beneficial to them.

These plans will be successfully integrated into the education system through a combination of evidence-gathering and feedback from parents, students, and other professionals.

Some elements of teacher-led learning will be retained to maximize the potential for individual progress, which will supplement traditional learning practices when combined with online digital media.

4. Subjecting testing to scrutiny
McLaughlin wonders, “What are we testing for?”

Today’s students are preoccupied with the end result, whether it’s a high ATAR, a distinction in class, or acing those tests. Future education will demonstrate what you have been told many times before: results do not define you.

McLaughlin believes that testing on its own can be hazardous.

“We overestimate the importance of test results in isolation from what we need to accomplish.” “This can lead us astray from what is truly important,” she says.

Grading is a waste of time if the only purpose is to identify who is at the top and who is at the bottom. Assessments in the future will be evidence-based, with measures that allow for the creation and personalization of learning plans.

“The big question is ‘why are we grading and for whom?'” says McLaughlin.

“Surely, we want a society in which everyone is capable of performing the job and its components competently.” “Do our exams truly prepare us for the future?”

Future teachers and educators
Curriculum teaching and learning already extends far beyond the classroom and will continue to do so, and as education evolves to meet the needs of the future, the role of the teacher must adapt and grow as well. It is the responsibility of each teacher to encourage students to take risks, be innovative, and seize any opportunity that comes their way.

Teachers of the future must be prepared to be data collectors, as well as analysts, planners, collaborators, curriculum experts, synthesizers, problem solvers, and researchers, in light of a shift toward a more personalized learner experience.


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