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  • Writer's pictureRed Dot Consulting

The Future of Learning

Updated: May 16, 2021

What a difference a year makes, especially in our ever evolving world that has seen millions of children's schooling disrupted from the pandemic.

Phrases such as blended and virtual learning, zoom, google hangouts, adaptability and resilience now trip off our tongue as if they have always had a place in our everyday language. It shows how we, as parents, students and teachers have learnt to adapt in the face of change.  

From face to face learning to virtual on-line teaching, leading educators have embraced this change as it has allowed education-led changes to be put into practice in education. It has been the chance for schools to lead the change themselves where previously they were being dictated to by governments.  

It is not just about modifying the existing style of teaching to a remote set up but allowing teachers to engage with students further. It allows the teachers to give them more tools to carry out their independent research and learning associated with a topic and thus support a broader base of learners instead of straight rote learning. 

Speaking during the virtual Education Disrupted, Education Reimagined conference organised by WISE; Professor Hattie, Professor of Education and Director of the Melbourne Education Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, Australia, notes that “educators have engendered an educational revolution – they worked out how to best serve students online, or with blending learning, with some in class, some online...they have brought them back [pupils], sent them home, had to deal with parents in new ways, confronted many inequities and modified teaching…this has been a true education, educator-led, change.”  

The Education sector is one service sector which to date has seen little or no change and the way children learn today would still be familiar to the Victorians. School and University students attend classes and are assessed on them in exams. Sugata Mitra, a world-renowened expert in education technology, notes 'The system that we've all gone through and has lasted for hundreds of years is no longer fit for purpose'.

Fees for private education have increased year on year but the methods of teaching have fundamentally stayed the same. Change has been long over due and COVID has been the catalyst to bring about this change. Where it would normally take years to bring about change, crises have a way of quickly forcing a hand which is what we are seing here in this relatively undisrupted industry.

In order to make sure these positive changes continue, it falls to school leaders globally to do what they can to make sure these new methods which have been developed become the new norm and are incorporated into the modern curricula.

Despite these positives, issues arising from lack of space to study, lack of internet & technology access or indeed the home being a safe environment should not be overlooked. Tackling these issues is where the focus should lie going forward to ensure all children have the same opportunity. A vast feat in itself especially as 91.3 percent of the world’s students were affected by school closures according to the UN’s Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation.

However, schools are unlikely to be entirely virtual. We are now, more than ever, aware that schools not only provide learning but socialisation, exercise, nutrition, as well as pastoral and social care.

So what lies ahead for the future of education? No one is entirely sure but as Leonie Valentine, Managing Director of Sales & Operations at Google, Hong Kong notes 'While it may be too early to predict what the future holds, it's clear that deeper integration of technology and digital learning could help make education more accessible and equitable long beyond Covid-19' (Expat Parent, September 2020).

Read our article Top Tips for Online Learning to see how you can best support your child at home if online learning becomes a reality again.

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