Go­ing be­yond the four-wall build­ing

The Jakarta Post - Magazine - - Education - (Gandi Faisal)

To­day’s world is char­ac­ter­ized by fast changes in the use of tech­nol­ogy. Com­pared with the 1990s, for ex­am­ple, new fea­tures of an al­ready fa­mil­iar piece of tech­nol­ogy are added on a weekly ba­sis, as well as new tech­nol­ogy, aim­ing at im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity.

In ed­u­ca­tion, there is a grow­ing de­mand for schools and cour­ses to move away from the tra­di­tional ped­a­gogy and em­brace high-tech 21st cen­tury teach­ing and learn­ing set-ups.

Ac­cord­ing to Saomya Sax­ena, an ed­u­ca­tion and tech­nol­ogy ob­server based in In­dia, mod­ern day class­rooms should be more cen­tered on stu­dents, with teach­ers tak­ing up the role of fa­cil­i­ta­tors and guides.

To do this, teach­ers can use a va­ri­ety of in­struc­tional meth­ods and fol­low dif­fer­ent ped­a­gog­i­cal ap­proaches aided by tech­nol­ogy. This is sup­ported by In­dra Charis­mi­adji, pres­i­dent of PT Edus­pec In­done­sia, an ed­u­ca­tion con­sult­ing firm based in Jakarta. “The global chal­lenge faced by the world of ed­u­ca­tion is to come up with a pro­gram that im­proves the qual­ity of learn­ing in line with tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment,” he said.

CHAL­LENGES AND RES­O­LU­TIONS

Re­al­iz­ing this, the Cul­ture and Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, through the Sec­tor An­a­lyt­i­cal and Ca­pac­ity De­vel­op­ment Part­ner­ship (ACDP), has drawn up strate­gies to im­prove teach­ers’ tech­no­log­i­cal knowhow.

“We want to im­prove ed­u­ca­tional in­fra­struc­tures and teach­ers’ com­pe­tence at the same time. What’s im­por­tant is that we main­tain knowl­edge in schools,” Tagor Alam­syah Hara­hap, coun­sel­ing pro­gram head at the min­istry’s pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion teach­ers and ed­u­ca­tors de­vel­op­ment agency, said as quoted by Kom­pas.

Schools have also taken steps to im­ple­ment tech­nol­ogy-based ed­u­ca­tion ap­proaches. Since ear­lier this year, the New Zealand In­de­pen­dent School in Ke­mang con­nects its classes to the school’s web-based ma­te­ri­als. Teach­ers make use of in­ter­ac­tive ma­te­ri­als to de­liver the sub­jects and eval­u­ate stu­dents’ per­for­mance.

“Ev­ery week my class uses ma­te­ri­als from the school’s web­site for my class,” said Nurlailah, an EAL teacher work­ing at the school. “I can use ma­te­ri­als from the web to add to the les­son I de­liver us­ing con­ven­tional meth­ods, for ex­am­ple. Stu­dents can ob­tain greater insight into the sub­ject with the help of more in­ter­ac­tive con­tent avail­able on the web,” she added. The New Zealand In­de­pen­dent School in Ke­mang has in­cor­po­rated web-based teach­ing-learn­ing into the cur­ricu­lum since early this year.

Mon­al­isa Si­rait, the man­ager of one of the branches of LBPP LIA, con­curs. “We are tap­ping into the grow­ing need for tech­nol­ogy-savvy teach­ing meth­ods. The mar­ket is de­mand­ing In­ter­net-based teach­ing and learn­ing pro­cesses.”

Mon­al­isa said that stu­dents were be­com­ing more au­ton­o­mous in learn­ing, as they were able to ex­plore sub­jects fur­ther through web-based ma­te­ri­als. “Au­dio and video pro­grams in­cluded in the pack­age help give stu­dents hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of and ex­po­sure to, in this case, the tar­get lan­guage,” she said fur­ther. LBPP LIA is a lead­ing English course in the coun­try and since 2013 has worked with a world-renowned pub­lisher that pro­vides the teach­ing-learn­ing ma­te­ri­als for use in the in­sti­tu­tion’s class­rooms. STEP­PING OUT

Mod­ern teach­ing and learn­ing process can cater more to stu­dents that have dif­fer­ent types of learn­ing abil­i­ties. The process mod­ern is more adap­tive to stu­dents’ dif­fer­ent paces and styles; teach­ers can ex­plore di­verse pro­grams or soft­ware to adapt to the stu­dents’ needs.

An­other per­spec­tive on tech­nol­o­gy­based learn­ing is pro­vided by An­drew Ford, a man­age­ment and or­ga­ni­za­tion con­sul­tant with a deep in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion. He talks about a per­son­al­ized learn­ing ma­trix, in which a teacher ne­go­ti­ates and works out with the stu­dents what is best for that stu­dent. “They still have to de­liver the cur­ricu­lum […] but they do it in an­other land­scape. They hide it un­der other ac­tiv­i­ties, or project-based learn­ing,” he said. This way, the stu­dents learn to make things and re­solve prob­lems. An­drew men­tions the need for dy­namic space. Teach­ers, in this set up, are seen as the lead learn­ers, who to­gether with stu­dents ex­plore the ma­te­ri­als.

To­day’s learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment is, ac­cord­ing to Ford, a place where not only stu­dents and teach­ers are ac­tively in­volved, but the par­ents also want to be in­volved.

Mod­ern learn­ing in­sti­tu­tions have the po­ten­tial to be­come the cen­ter of many ac­tiv­i­ties, not only for stu­dents but also for the com­mu­nity, as they pro­vide the ne­ces­sity to be­come en­gaged in the ever-chang­ing world. Tech­nol­ogy in an ed­u­ca­tional es­tab­lish­ment can bridge stu­dents with the world at large and let the sub­jects step out of the pages and en­gage stu­dents in a more di­rect and con­vinc­ing way un­der the guid­ance of teach­ers.

“We need to change the way peo­ple see a teacher in a tra­di­tional sense. To­day’s stu­dents can ob­tain in­for­ma­tion any­where, not only from their teach­ers, so teach­ers to­day should not only be seen as the foun­tain of knowl­edge, they should also be the ones who bridge the in­for­ma­tion to stu­dents,” said In­dra Cahris­mi­adji.

JP/ Jerry Adi­guna

JP/Wen­dra Ajisty­atama

JP/Wen­dra Ajisty­atama

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