When Learning Becomes Innovative:

There are usually a lot of assumptions about Education: fixed schedule for classes, switching off mobile phones, students should learn in the classrooms, etc. These assumptions seem to remain impinged on our minds as that is how most of us have been educated, but there is no reason for us to assume now that these ways will meet the needs of today’s learners. Education may not always be thought of as an innovative sector but as we seek out fresh opportunities, both locally and globally,we are increasingly becoming challenged in this highly competitive world.

Education is one of the most important tool through which innovation can be forged. This week’s blog on Design public tries to explore and see some of the different pedagogical methods which have been employed by various institutes, universities and  colleges alike that encourage its students for knowledge creation,dissemination and application. The traditional curriculum through which students learn  and grow hardly allows them to think beyond the four walls of the classrooms. Promoting and creating sensitivity towards this aspect is what we lack in our education system today. Formal education has always been teacher-focused. The process of learning have been passive reception rather than active inquiry.However today, we are witnessing a higher- education revolution. Higher education is subjected to a host of criticisms for not being entrepreneurial and student-focused.

Profound transformations has changed the education system today with new technology and innovation being a part of it. It has changed our relationship towards information and towards each other. New technology is an area that is arguably one of the easiest way to reach out any information anytime anywhere. This new innovative technology has been striving towards making the education system more interesting, creative and productive. Every child in this digital age  binds himself/herself to the latest gadgets and so educational institutions are now coming up with different innovative educational technology that lets the child play and learn at the same time.

The  Excite-Ed was launched by Julia Bateson in 2011, which works within schools helping children (and teachers) create computer games that teach both digital and social skills. Night Zookeeper is another social enterprise using gaming technology. “Night Zookeeper helps children invent their very own magical animals”, explains chief executive Joshua Davidson, who came up with this idea for primary schools. All the pedagogies and teaching strategies, Minerva has adopted, provides professional development for educational professionals and beyond. Minerva’s co-founders work closely with university humanities professors to ensure that topics are taught with text complexity, diverse multimedia, cultural connections and multiple viewpoints. Courses offered in Coursera have been designed to help one master their material.  Key ideas include mastery learning, to make sure that one has multiple attempts to demonstrate new knowledge; using interactivity, to ensure student engagement and to assist long-term retention; and providing frequent feedback. The National Innovation council is also engaged in promoting new educational models and innovative platforms to promote creativity and innovative thinking. ‘Spaced learning‘, is another innovative concept developed at Monkseaton High School in Tyne and Wear. “Unlike in traditional lessons, you don’t need pens or books, there’s nothing to distract you, and as you listen and watch and focus, all the information gets stored in your long-term memory”. Case-in-Point is a method of experiential learning used to teach leadership, developed over the past 15 years by Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linsky, and their colleagues at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In this information age, the implications of a move from teacher-centered to learner centered education are staggering. Postponing or suppressing this move will slow our abilities to learn, innovate and gain competitive advantage over others. As Paul Hobcraft mentions, “Knowledge, innovation knowledge, is made up of an awful lot of different things and this is where the real education comes in, front and center in developing new practices, in training, in educating, in translating this knowledge into lasting value.”

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