HOW TECH IS TRANSFORMING THE WAY WE LEARN
We need digital tools to prepare youth to meet the needs of a technology-driven future
ALL parents want to provide the best education for their children. By definition, that means the school or learning institution they wish to send their children to should have the best teachers, with the best facilities and the best teaching methods that will enhance learning performance.
We often expect our children to perform very well in exams and we forget that to survive in the real world, the knowledge and skills that our children need are not necessarily included in the school curriculum.
We often believe, too, based on our deceived perception, that knowledge is related to the mastery of the content of subject matter. However, the truth is that the most valuable skill students will learn is actually acquired through the process of their education. Lest we forget, in learning to obtain knowledge, we need specific skills that are more useful compared with the content of the subject matter.
In self-regulated learning, learners are expected to be more accountable for their learning through designing, sharing, piloting, evaluating and modifying their work, and reflecting on the process.
Through this experience, learners construct meaning and internalise the learning process. This conscious process is known as transformative learning — understanding the meaning of our experience.
Transformative learning develops autonomous thinking, which means we are responsible for our knowledge management.
With the advancement of technology in our lives, many changes in the learning environment and communication platforms are in line with fast-evolving technology, specifically the innovation of digital devices and social network applications. The technology allows simultaneous use of space, where users can spend hours on the application as a tool — where information is uploaded or downloaded, posted, stored and shared — for teaching and learning.
Many educators and learners have jumped on the bandwagon of using web-based apps, such as online labs, social media and mobile devices, to enhance teaching and learning experiences. Digital tools have revolutionised teaching and learning through evolving innovative technologies and approaches, which are slowly replacing traditional teaching and learning.
Indeed, e-learning or mobile learning has transformed the way we learn, thus enabling us to curate our content and how we process learning through virtual learning environments (VLEs), like the ones we have in some Malaysian schools. Many schools have already started to use WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Live and Skype, among others, to engage students in a particular lesson besides Frog VLE applications.
With the rise of mobile learning apps, many experts foresee emerging trends for this vast learning landscape. In order to support capacity-building of young adults for their big data analytical skills and key 21st century competencies, like leadership, communication, collaboration, creativity,and critical thinking, students’ participation in cross-cultural computer-supported collaborative learning activities are needed.
Such technologically- and pedagogically-sound online learning platforms are already taking place in many universities to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations.
One of the emerging trends is
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 2017 cloud computing. Cloud applications and incorporation of augmented and virtual reality technology enable teaching and learning tools to be made relatable, portable, handheld, lighter, fuss free and highly accessible.
There are many other learning apps that are free and readily accessible to help the teaching and learning process in classrooms. Many subjects or courses can also be delivered online, thus benefiting schools, universities, even corporate sectors in upskilling and human capital development.
Teachers or instructors may also use geolocations, augmented and virtual reality learning apps to teach relevant subjects and make it more engaging, immersive, interactive and meaningful.
Gamified learning and assessment, too, are getting more popular with educators and training providers in the West.
Learning can now be tailored into “bite-sized” portions to make it more interactive for a new generation of learners. In fact, there are escalating trends for mobile competency-based learning for professional competency building, such as business management, finances, manufacturing industries, services and retail, even healthcare. The possibilities are endless.
Students will also gain practical experiences in interacting through digital and mobile learning platforms in collaboration with local and remote peers and in consultation with knowledge experts or experts from the relevant work industries.
This will equip the students with transferable competencies that can help them secure highskilled jobs later on.
The 2017 Worldwide Mobile Learning Market Executive Report reckons that 49 per cent of
E-learning or mobile learning enables us to curate our content and process learning through virtual learning environments.