With the current paradigm shift in technology and jobs, educators are experiencing numerous issues and challenges. Schools have to constantly reinvent themselves and develop strategies to prepare students for the demands of the 21st century. A panel discussion – hosted by Curiosity Gym on Saturday, 12th October – tried to address these challenges by bringing together educators to collectively create a vision for the future of education in schools.
The second panel discussion in the series called “Innovations in Education” largely focused on gamified learning as a way to innovation in education.
Panelists included Dr. Seema Negi – Principal, Sanjeevani World School; Ms. Pratibha Mishra – Principal, Panbai International School; Ms. Namita Mehta – President, The Red Pen, with Mr. Girish Nair, Founder, Curiosity Gym as moderator.
In his keynote presentation at the conference, Mr. Nair demonstrated practical examples of engaging students through gamifying sessions in classrooms and the need for an integrated curriculum that connects different areas of study by cutting across subject-matter lines to make learning interesting for students. He emphasized the need for creating an innovative environment where students can develop a growth mindset and skills that will help them excel in any field that they choose to pursue.
The panelists freely shared their views and experiences in answers to questions on Innovations in Education. The learning of the panel discussion can be distilled into the following 3 main points.
1. Understand how students learn today
Today, students are not necessarily seeking information and knowledge as they are technically adept to source information on the Internet. Hence, the role of a teacher should be to make topics engaging by teaching students ways to use their knowledge base, articulate a problem, creatively find a solution to the problem, and logically communicate findings.
“The mindset change in educators to think out of the box is the first step in innovation” – Dr. Negi
“Educators have to constantly update themselves to think like kids” – Ms. Mishra
2. Focus on Teacher Training
A 21st-century teacher has to shift from a traditional instructional role to be an enabler and allow students to construct their understanding and knowledge of different topics, through experiential learning and reflection.
It may be easier said than done as teachers have their baggage of set teaching methodologies and experiences. Hence, schools need to invest in training and support to create a shift in the mindset of teachers.
“We train our teachers to understand generational disparity” – Dr. Negi
“The focus needs to be on teachers training and getting the buy-in from the teachers that learning is a two-way dialogue” – Ms. Mehta
3. Create Spaces of learning in Schools
Building Student leadership and teaching 21st-century skills cannot happen in a typical classroom set-up. Therefore, educational institutions need student-centric and student-led spaces where students can explore, build, create and tinker.
“The trend is changing to more hands-on, innovative and experiential learning”- Ms. Namita
“Gamification is a need as kids will only learn when they enjoy” – Ms. Mishra