Innovation In Education

Reekrit Serai

Managing Director, Satluj Group of Schools

When it comes to innovation in education we must remember that learning is no longer dependent on the teacher alone. People still learn and teach in ways invented during Industrial Revolution and it doesn’t work anymore. Innovation in education is doing what is best for students. A curriculum that is flexible and piques learner’s curiosity. We need to understand that our students need more than just skills needed to pass their assessment. We need to give them tools that will prove to be productive in their future.

A child who is entering the education system (Kindergarten) in 2019 will graduate from school in 2032. The world will be extremely different then. According to McKinsey report, ‘in about 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated…’ Some of the top jobs then will be a commercial space pilot (if we go by SpaceX by Elon Musk and Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos), creating organ/body part with the help of 3D Printing. We will also have self-driving cars, Virtual Reality (VR) architects, Robot Sherpas, Drone command crew, Brain augmentation and a whole set of industries that have still not been invented yet. The top skills required for these jobs will be Mental Elasticity and Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Creative People Skills and Interdisciplinary Knowledge. So to cope with a future like this teaching-learning pedagogies need to be drastically modified. A more creative and innovative outlook towards K-12 education is therefore requisite.

Industrial Revolution 4.0 has deemed tradition methodologies of teaching redundant. Without the use of technology in education, it has become impossible to keep ourselves relevant. Gen Z unlike millennial or other generations, was born into tech. Thus, it’s important to teach them HOW to learn and not WHAT to learn. They will learn the WHAT from Google. Teachers are instrumental in teaching the HOW. Recent studies have shown a medical school class with iPads scored 23% higher in exams than other classes without this device.

It’s interesting to see the education sector flooded with ingenious innovative techniques. Teacher for a small portion of the lesson, often indulge in contents that might not strictly be a part of curriculum but something that learners have shown interest in. Teaching history in the form of a graphic novel created by students is an excellent example of integrating subjects. Recently, South Korea experimented with robot teachers which made the lesson interesting and enabled teachers from anywhere in the world to be ‘present’ in the class. Mobile technology too has become an effective tool. Several innovative Mobile apps like Edx, Google Play Books, BYJU’S, Lumosity, etc. have allowed teachers conduct polls, enhance verbal and presentation skills and help incorporate technological skills with core lessons. 3D Printing technology offers learners interactive multimedia presentations which enables them to understand the concept better. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Mixed Reality (MR) and Blockchain have all become a part of teaching methodologies. Assistive Technology is especially useful for students with special needs and learning disabilities, like – Dyslexia and reading problems.

Keeping the technology aside, it is also important to inculcate ‘Real-World’ learning. Brainstorming is an excellent option. Learning should not be cocooned just within classroom. A class beyond the classroom is effective. Introduction of role play, storyboard teaching, puzzles and games, schools clubs, crossover learning, computational learning, etc. has seen marvellous results as well.

Innovation has made learning interesting and engaging for Gen Z world of technology. It is a faster and more efficient way to deliver a lesson and reduces need for limited content of textbooks, thus lowering long-term cost incurred by students and schools. It also makes teacher-student communication effective. W.B. Yeats said, ‘Education should not be the filling of a pail, but lighting of a fire.’ Innovative thinking has actually done so much more than just ‘fill the pail’. It has ignited a passion for learning in the students which is essential for a very competitive world ahead of them.

Reekrit Serai

Managing Director, Satluj Group of Schools