Is turning to innovation the answer?
For decades, improving the quality of education across Asia remains an ongoing challenge for countries seeking to modernise their systems and boost student outcomes. Classroom teaching may be the norm in Asia, but recent trends show educators are not shying away from innovation to address the realities they face.
From India, China to Southeast Asia, schools may face over-crowding, which means teachers may be saddled with high teacher to student ratios. The lack of qualified teachers in certain areas may also contribute to sharp disparities between the teaching standards of urban and rural institutions.
Other institutions are under pressure to improve their teaching standards but have yet to harness the learning potential of their young, digitally-inclined students. With increasing mobile connectivity amongst Asian youths, watching videos, Googling queries, and digitally sampling information from multiple sources has become the norm – with institutions struggling to respond to these new habits.
There’s also emerging evidence that active learning – not passive rote learning – is central to skills acquisition in the 21st century. As traditional classroom teaching is often passive and one-directional, educators are increasingly recognising that relying on traditional teaching methods alone may be inadequate to prepare their students for the future workforce.
For leading higher-education institutions in various Asian nations, the need to increase competitiveness, expand their student pool and offer broad-based education with high-performance outcomes is driving the push towards innovation and technology adoption. Increasing the rate of innovation with data, strategy and culture and moving towards entrepreneurship, experimentation and creativity to drive innovation will become a core for future-focused institutions in Asia.
Transform your teaching with innovation
Innovation is an essential tool that can help educators and institutions improve their teaching outcomes and respond to myriad challenges. However, many educators face similar experiences and questions about innovation – especially those who are first-time adopters of educational technology or who are wondering what innovation means in the first place.
Here we address some of the most common questions you might have as an educator:
Does innovation refer only to the use of technology?
For an educator, applying innovation to teaching means so much more than technology. It is a mindset and even a culture – fundamentally, it’s about seeing new possibilities in old problems. Around Asia, innovation is being used to boost literacy, track student progress and encourage critical thinking and problem-solving. Technology is often a key enabler in these movements, along with increased mobile connectivity and the rise of educational technology such as a Learning Management System (LMS).
Will technology replace classroom learning?
Educational technology offers educators a myriad of possibilities – there isn’t a one size fits all. For educators who are starting to use technology, many prefer a blended learning model, which includes both a mix of face-to-face classroom instruction and online delivery.
Rather than replacing classroom learning, the best application of blended learning makes use of technology’s advantages to address the limitations of the classroom – from boosting learning efficiency with access to materials, increasing collaboration and enhancing student engagement.
How do I even get started on implementing innovation?
While the term “innovation” is often associated with technology or ground-breaking ideas, most innovation is tackled in baby steps. Motivate yourself with making small wins and improvements and learning as you go along.
How will technology help me in my everyday job?
Technology frees up time for teachers to put the focus back on what the love – teaching.
Many teachers feel burdened from one of the most tedious aspects of their job – marking dozens of assignments. This makes it harder to for teachers to track their students’ progress and offer personalised feedback to students that need more help. By adopting technology, teachers are more able to offer feedback and direct students to resources they most need to improve their learning.
Technology also offers educators new tools to more deeply understand their students. This includes predicting a learner’s success and quickly identifying students at risk by using predictive analytics and data visualisation.