School is something we all have to go through, with 12 years of formal education that provides the platform from which we can enter further education at a university or college, and as the world we live in is changing before our eyes, the education system must adapt and incorporate relevant technologies in order to best equip students.
Rather than the traditional classroom teacher-student model, many good schools now adopt active learning strategies, which usually take the form of projects. The students would be divided into small groups and they would normally be given a free hand to choose the project topic, and with the teacher acting more like a facilitator, the students are guided rather than instructed. Learning through projects develops the following skills:
- Critical thinking skills
- Collaboration & teamwork
- Overcoming obstacles
- Presentation skills
The students learn how to self-learn, using technology to help them find the information they need, plus they are encouraged to be creative in the way they present their findings.
The children of today do not know what life was like before we had the Internet, and as digital technology plays such a large role in our lives, children need to be very competent using all forms of digital platforms. Take an international school in Bangkok as an example, they would have at least one computer lab, where students learn about Ms Office, Photoshop and other well-known programs, plus they would be given basic instruction on how to design and build a website. Each student would be shown how to create an email account, and the older students would receive and send work assignments electronically, which are skills they will need in the adult world.
There should be one subject that deals with the theory and practice of computers, incorporating the latest technologies and encouraging further learning. Students would know how to create a poll on an online forum, create a report or graph, plus they would understand various operating systems (OS), such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.
When students reach Year 9, they should be talking to a career specialist about potential careers, in order to find out where their interests lie, and this can help the learner to plot a path to further education that should lead to the right university courses. If a secondary student does not think about a career, it is likely they will study subjects that will not be very useful when they embark on a career, which is a waste of time and money.
This is one sector that has emerged in school curriculums over the past two decades, as it is essential that the young people of today are aware of climate change, as well as learning how to be eco-friendly. Environmental studies are incorporated into the British and US curriculum, and by the time a student reaches Year 10, they would have a deep understanding of the global pollution problems, plus they would know all about eco-friendly practices.
Education must keep abreast of current technologies, which demands regular amendments to the curriculum, and this will ensure that the following generations are equipped to achieve success.