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INNOVATION| 11.09.2023

Education seeks to adapt to a rapidly
changing world

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In recent years, education has not progressed at the same speed as the world around it. Educational practices and structures often have not been able keep up with the rapid changes in technology and society.

Recognizing this, there are groups of educationalists and academics around the world who see educational innovation not just as a growing trend, but as a necessity.

Rethinking education

The urgency to foster pedagogical innovation is becoming increasingly evident in 2023. It is not just about incorporating the latest technology into the classroom, but about rethinking how we educate and how students learn in this ever-changing world. Below, we explore some of the most prominent pedagogical innovations of recent years, which represent creative and effective responses to these challenges: 

  • Flipped classroom 

The flipped classroom concept asks students to prepare a lesson at home — studying the course material on their own — and then apply what they learned in the classroom through practical activities and group discussions with the teacher. This is one of the most prominent and widely accepted innovations today. Having received mention in the report Innovating Pedagogy 2022, this technique allows students to learn at their own pace and facilitates deep, active, practical, and effective learning. 

  • Gamification 

While it is not a new concept, gamification still has a long way to go in education. It uses elements from game design (most commonly, points, levels, and rewards) to motivate learners and improve their engagement with the material. Gamification takes advantage of the rapid stimulus-reward cycle to incentivize students to take action and progress. Just like in a game, it keeps us attentive and eager to move forward. 

  • Virtual Reality 

Virtual reality (VR) is starting to make its way into the classroom. VR offers students immersive experiences, such as exploring the Roman Colosseum during a history lesson. There are already examples of using virtual reality in education, such as Google Expeditions, which allows students to take virtual “trips” to places around the world. Although there are times when virtual reality seems like a passing fad, it remains an attractive prospect in the field of education. Simply imagine the classroom moving immersively to the Amazon rainforest in biology class, or the pyramids of Egypt in geometry. Such a lesson would certainly be much more interesting than a teacher just reading from a textbook. 

  • Influencer-led education 

Influencer-led education is another emerging and steadily-growing trend that was mentioned in the Innovating Pedagogy 2022 report. Social media influencers, who have built large online communities of followers, are beginning to play a role in education. So-called “edu-influencers” offer videos and other educational content to their followers that go beyond formal education, in subjects as diverse as mathematics, music, physics, and many others. 

  • Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence may already be a buzzword in 2023, but it has vast potential in education, as we have seen in the debate on the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom. AI can personalize learning for each student by adapting to their pace and learning style. It can also free up time for educators by automating certain mechanical tasks and grading. Without a doubt, it has the potential for many synergies in the flipped classroom, for example. 

Competing with a shrinking window of attention

If it is not to be left behind, education must adapt to a society with increasingly fleeting attention spans and increasingly liquid structures. In this fast-paced context, education must embrace pedagogical innovation in response to the changing dynamics of society and move beyond the traditional classroom and lectures.

Therefore, by accepting the challenge, education can keep up with the times to become a source of knowledge and development for future generations and a tool for equality.