In a world that is driven by technology, our education sector is also adapting to the trend of basing innovations on technology. Educators are trying to include interactive, creative and technology-based tools in order to enhance learning and teach children major life-skills that are a must for the child to possess for a career in the 21st century.
The workforce sector is evolving as well. With the world moving towards a tech-first approach to life, more and more jobs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) space are cropping up. Innovation and leadership are two of the most basic qualities that entrepreneurs today need to possess. On the other hand, organisations are on the lookout to hire professionals who have a creative mindset and are skilled at problem-solving, critical thinking and logical reasoning.
Therefore, it is imperative to understand the need to develop an optimal academic environment in order to promote learning of the above-mentioned skills. Our education system has been trying to incorporate curriculums to help children learn a wide range of skills and make them future-ready.
The goal is based on two things; firstly, to introduce subjects and topics that will fuel a child’s imagination and creative thinking, secondly, to focus on learning methods that will push children towards developing the required skills of problem-solving and critical thinking.
Keeping this goal in mind, the focus of our curriculum being imparted by the educational organisations to students is also shifting to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). More and more schools are adopting the STEM studies in order to promote learning of ideas as well as skills that will make the children equipped for the real world.
The study of STEM subjects is proven to be a more engaged method of learning and has shown to improve life-skills plus bring out the creative side of students. As mentioned above, the approach is as important as the subject. Using innovative methods to build a learning platform that will keep the children engaged and make them want to learn is the need for the hour. The approach will also make the students develop a positive relationship with learning and make them feel open to welcome the process anytime there is a need for it in the future.
School life, as we know it, is very different for the current generation as compared to the past generations. Education used to just be about a classroom, a teacher, a blackboard, a book, and a student; this has transitioned to something completely different today and teachers, as well as educational organisations, are going out of their way to improve and introduce methods and subjects that will help them prepare their students better.
We have started banking on tech-first solutions to accommodate the need for better learning. Content is being made available online and in different mediums for easy access, it is also being made more interactive in order to focus on skilled learning. Teachers and educators are using innovative and engaging methods of learning to maintain the interest of students. They think the study of STEM will benefit students in the following skillset which are the base for a strong foundation that every student needs:
- Critical, creative and innovative thinking: Students learn to identify, induce and deduce the solution, ideas and methods to determine if certain goals and requirements will be met and develop new strategies if the need arises.
- Problem-solving: Students learn to identify, analyse and evaluate problems and develop creative, practical solutions to eliminate the problem. This skill can be imparted in teams or groups too.
- Communication: Students learn to communicate clearly and openly in order to collaborate with other members. To stress on the idea of listening is as important in communication as understanding and speaking are.
- Teamwork: Students learn to work effectively in teams with different people. To also make them understand how to lead a team and how to be a part of one.
- Life-long learning: Students learn to understand the need for learning throughout life and adapt to change when it happens. To focus on learning from experience and knowledge of others later in life.
Educators today feel it is important to start the process of cultivating these skills in students as early as possible. To achieve the same, the education industry is going through a major change and coursework plus the curriculum is seeing an upheaval on all levels of the education system.
It is very important to understand the effect of technology on society in order to understand the skills that will be required by students in the future. We expect our teachers, professors, administrators, and policymakers to understand this and innovate the theory and practice of teaching and learning to ensure quality education.
This education is essential for our 21st-century students to ensure that they garner and excel in skills involving innovation, creativity, and use of technology to be able to work and survive the future that is in store for them.
About the author:
Ammara Habib is Head of Business, Mad About Ed