The best learning environment should be all about flexibility and diversity. Entire schools are already being redesigned this way to ensure the best functionality for teaching, learning, collaboration and creativity. But this requires plenty of resources – and clearly, not all schools have the means or the possibilities to redesign all their classrooms, instantly. However, budget-friendly solutions exist.
It’s hard to teach and practice innovation in the classroom, but it’s the only way to prepare for and thrive in the world of tomorrow. Teachers that steal ideas from various sources, try to predict the future of education and let room for mistakes will find that innovative ideas are everywhere. And these ideas can change the school organizational system, pedagogy methods, learning content and eve the physical learning space for the better.
Constructivism is a learning theory positing that prior knowledge is the foundation for building new ideas; the key phrase in constructivist learning is “active learning” rather than “passive learning”. So what can teachers do to facilitate this guided discovery for students that do a lot of learning online? Read on about a few practical applications of constructivism in an online classroom.
A low hanging fruit when it comes to including more visual elements in education is the organization of learning materials. all the learning materials teachers create are organized in a visual manner, things will be clearer for students and easier for teachers in the long-run. While it doesn’t take much effort to include visual elements when organizing lessons and ideas, the results are positive.
Based on the constructivist learning theory, children construct an understanding of the world around them based on prior experiences, discerning differences between what they already know, and what they learn from their environment and new experiences, thus forming new ideas. However, this approach to education may not always be the best option for the traditional classroom.
If in kindergarten and primary school all textbooks have at least one picture or diagram on almost every page, in senior years of high school and then in college, visual elements in textbooks and other learning materials become a rarity. That’s a shame, because students learn better when they can visualize new concepts. A picture may not be worth exactly a thousand words, but it’s definitely worth more than one.
While grades remain an important indicator on how well your students are understanding the coursework, there are a myriad of other tools and techniques that will give you even more insight into their progress. Automation, analytics and interactive engagement are available from a variety of assessment tools online, offering more meaningful insights into the learning progress of students.
The 4Cs are a wonderful mnemonic that help teachers keep their eyes on the greater goal of educating children and young people that are able to think for themselves, and who can clearly communicate their needs and ideas. Video is a medium that students understand and for the most part love working with – they are surrounded by it daily. It is therefore a great way to develop the 4Cs in an engaging and effective way.
Children today are surrounded by technology, just like they are surrounded by nature. Therefore, why shouldn’t technology be integrated into the incredibly successful method of education that is Montessori? If technology is part of our children’s world, why should it be overlooked in their learning process?
Blended learning — or the art of mixing face-to-face instruction in the classroom with ed-tech — is on the path of becoming a real norm in education. Technological tools developed especially for the education market, along with the future demand for online literacy are the two foundation stones of this path.