Technology has given us so many new opportunities to improve educational delivery. Networking allows us to connect students and teachers across distant lands. Online learning platforms allow us to take courses that once were localized and are now make them global. Thanks to the Internet, no longer are we in a position where learning is limited to the district or region where one thing is traditionally taught. Now any student, regardless of where he or she is located, can access the best and brightest instructors throughout the world. The best programs in the world are available to us to help us to achieve our uniquely designed individual goals. Technology makes that all possible and it allows it to be far-reaching and highly interactive.
One of the enhancements to learning provided by the classrooms of the future is the ability that it provides for educational content to be both classroom-based as a real-time presentation and “ready when you are” as pre-made content. For example, we can now have half of a course pre-designed in pre-made content that can be reused, and we can combine that with sessions during which we get the group together for in-person or online instruction. This allows you to create interactivity between the instructors and the students, as well as between students and their peers.
Additionally, we can create courses in which pre-made content is available for students to view and students have complimentary homework assignments or projects to complete and turn in using messaging apps such as Slack or Discord. Instructors can assign video homework assignments, auditory homework assignments, presentations, and of course papers, all of which can be graded. The fun, far reaching, and interactive classrooms of the future allow for all of this, as well as lectures and labs.
One key to making all this instruction effective is allowing for a lot of collaboration. Just watching videos by yourself and not being able to do anything to process or assess what you are learning does not make for a great educational experience. Along with watching the videos, you need to have someone who can check your competency and make sure you are improving. There needs to be a system that facilitates that, either by using a messaging app like Slack or a process that allows people to submit material via a content delivery management platform. There must be a collaboration between the instructor and the student.
Another key to really making this type of education work is fostering community. Effective education must get people working together and learning teamwork. When training and education only teach us to work alone and do not teach us social skills, emotional intelligence, how to read social cues, and how to communicate properly, it will not deliver the kind of careers that we want to develop through education. We must have the social aspect included in the teaching process.
If learning is remote, it is important to organize some team-building events such as local get-togethers. Scheduling meetups for students in major cities is another possibility. Assign people team projects and let them turn them in together. Make sure people are working together, having video conferences together, and being together. Whatever it takes, do something to get the students and the community together to experience connectedness.
The power that modern educational technology provides allows us to build a collaborative community where people can interact. Not only are we getting a better education, faster education, and even cheaper education; but we are also creating an environment where we grow as people, grow as a community, and make each other’s lives better.
Michael Gibbs is the CEO of Go Cloud Careers, a global organization that provides training for elite cloud computing careers. Go Cloud Careers is focused on helping individuals achieve their dream technology career by getting hired. Michael has 25 years of experience in networking, cloud computing, and IT security.