School rooms the world over are on the cusp of change. Currently we find ourselves teetering between the traditional 19th century image of teaching and a new approach that will take advantage of technology as a means to focus on the core set of skills that today’s learners will need for tomorrow’s work.
Just last year, coding was introduced to school children from infants on up to ensure that all pupils can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, rather than solely focusing on the traditional route of Microsoft Office intensive learning. This leap was seen as hasty by some in the teaching industry and much needed by those in the computing industry, showing somewhat the gulf between industry needs and teaching ability.
This small alteration only scratches the surface at the ways the rise of technology within schools can bring with it a complete overhaul in teaching styles and curriculum. This has led to the creation of the ‘flipped classroom’ approach to teaching whereby the teachers role becomes one of a guide, while students watch lectures at their own pace – communicating with classmates and teachers online – and using the time in school to do homework. In the BBC article linked to, Mohammed Telbany, head of IT at Sudbury Primary School, says the approach has “surprised the teachers that the kids can excel on their own, with minimal teaching intervention.”
With these experimental modes of teaching gaining traction, more and more schools are beginning to implement new technology in their classroom to not only improve skills but for use as teaching aids. Tablets have taken more and more precedence in classrooms over recent years as the pliable technology is used to teach and collaborate as well as engage with the children, and the teachers themselves frequently use tablets to perform student observations and track their attendance online. Similarly they are also encouraged to get children to use digital cameras and voice recorders at an earlier age and children are frequently learning via interactive whiteboards as it allows the teacher to utilise a variety of multimedia in their lessons. Certain schools have even started to implement the use of 3D printers as an aid for art and design courses as they allow students to bring their ideas to life in an awe-inspiring way.
With changing classrooms and rapid innovations in technology and teaching around the corner, it can be hard to keep on top of what’s on offer and how it benefits your school. Suppliers such as Egan Reid stay on top of classroom essentials and IT products to ensure that the products and services they offer continually meets the demands of an industry that is increasingly changing to the needs and abilities of the potential leaders of tomorrow.