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Rethinking how schools work

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Rethinking how schools work

  1. 1. RETHINKING HOW SCHOOLS WORK Some critical shifts are happening in education driven by technology. These changes affect everything from the role of the teacher to a rethinking of how schools themselves work. According to the report: "Teachers are increasingly expected to be adept at a variety of ICT-based and other approaches for content delivery, learner support, and assessment; to collaborate with other teachers both inside and outside their schools; to routinely use digital strategies in their work with students and act as guides and mentors; and to organize their own work and comply with administrative documentation and reporting requirements. Furthermore, teachers are increasingly using experimental teaching approaches and integrating technology into their professional development. Open educational resources will play an increasing role in education at the policy level, and that has distinct implications for technology adoption since most OER is in an electronic format. "Open content, or open educational resources (OER), are growing in breadth and quality, as is the use of these materials in classrooms, networks, and school communities," the report's authors noted. "The use and adoption of open content materials is increasingly a matter of policy in schools, especially in the many disciplines in which high quality educational content is more abundant than ever." Understanding that the term “open” is a multifaceted concept is essential to following this trend; often mistaken to simply mean “free of charge,” advocates of open content have worked towards a common vision that defines it more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but also in terms of ownership and usage rights. The goal is that open content are freely copiable, freely remixable, and free of barriers to access, cultural sensitivities, sharing, and educational use. The 2012 UNESCO Paris OER Declaration has been a crucial document for defining open as it relates to the creation, circulation, and standardization of open content. Equally worth mentioning is the increasing use of hybrid learning designs. Hybrid models, when designed and implemented effectively, enable students to use the school day for group work and project-based activities, while using the network to access readings, videos, and other learning materials on their own time, leveraging the best of both environments. "As teachers and students alike become more familiar with and adept at using the Internet, traditional classroom pedagogies increasingly include online learning components, hybrid learning strategies, and increased focus on collaboration within the classroom," according to the report. "Schools that are making use of hybrid learning models are finding that using both the physical and the virtual learning environments to their highest potentials allows teachers to engage students in a broader variety of ways, and even extend the learning day." The authors noted that effective implementation of hybrid learning designs enables students "to use the school day for group work and project-based
  2. 2. activities, while using the network to access readings, videos, and other learning materials on their own time, leveraging the best of both environments." "There is now a focused movement to change the traditional classroom experience and rearrange the school day — a trend that is largely being driven by the shift to innovative learning approaches. Methods, such as project- and challenge-based learning, call for school set-ups that enable students to move from one learning activity to another more organically. Plus, as these approaches are increasingly multidisciplinary, there is a need for learning design that better connects each class and set of subject matter to each other," the report said. "The traditional bell schedule can be perceived as jarring as it forces students to move from one class to another in an unnatural manner with no connection between the projects and activities. As learning becomes increasingly fluid and student-centered, some teachers and administrators believe that schedules should be more flexible to allow opportunities for authentic learning experiences to take place." REFERENCE Shifts in Education Driven by Technology By David Nagel (05/21/14) http://cdn.nmc.org/media/2014-horizon-k12-preview.pdf Read more at http://thejournal.com/Articles/2014/05/21/6-Shifts-in-Education- Driven-by-Technology.aspx?Page=1#PMjSOcpMDTtoEbFs.99 The complete preview report is publicly available at nmc.org. Methodology and additional information can be found on the Horizon Report wiki.

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