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Written by Mo Qureshi of BSD Education
It’s nearly the end of the winter term! Every December our Education Team dedicate time to reflect on feedback to improve our curriculum and to research the new developments and trends in education to create our roadmap for our curriculum. Based on our recent research, we have identified these 5 trends in Technology Education.
1. Micro-credentials for STEM teachers
Growth in STEM and cross curricular projects in education has resulted in more teachers keen to infuse technology into their subjects. Most teachers, unlike in other subjects, have experienced no technology learning journey like they would be expected to teach today during their own education, and have not received training to teach it before. Because of this, they cannot reflect on their own learning, and don’t have a foundation of personal knowledge or professional development to refer back to. We find that, whilst most teachers recognize the importance of technology learning in education, it is not reasonable to expect them to feel equipped to deliver for their students without the proper professional learning activities being made available.
This then gives rise to the next issue that teachers are already short on time and so scheduling the time for courses is very difficult. Because of this we are seeing an increased interest in micro-credentials being created by universities to enable teachers to effectively teach STEM education in their classes. We are even seeing new “STEM Teacher” Masters courses arising that can be earned through a longer term accumulation of micro credentials, pursuable on a schedule that can fit to a working teacher’s time demands; in the end resulting in a recognized qualification. Many microdentials are carrrying professional development credit.
With each micro-credential addresses a fine-grained and discrete set of educational practices, they are proving an interesting bridge to a learning gap for teachers and we expect this to continue as a growing trend in 2019.
2. Growth of Computational Thinking in all subjects and grades
According to to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report, more than 65% of students entering primary school today will work in jobs that don’t exist yet. The ever increasing use of technology in industry, creation of new industries, access to internet enabled devices in life and in school, all set against the backdrop of an increasing range of global challenges, are just some of the changes that we already experience in life nowadays. This highlights the importance of teaching students a proven systematic method of problem solving – Computational Thinking.
We recently read the Computational Thinking for a Computational World report by Digital Promise, On page 22, the report connects Computational Thinking with the use of computers, “Computational thinking is both a skill to learn and a way to learn — to create, discover, and make sense of the world, often with computers as extensions and reflections of our minds.”
In addition to this we have seen the US K12 Computer Science framework (p.165) make specific reference to a cross curricular implementation of CS learning as being a key part of providing the most comprehensive “broad and deep exposure” for students.In 2019, we expect to continue to see more educational activities and lessons becoming geared towards or including developing Computational Thinking skills. Moreover, we also expect to see teachers working to embed these activities in subjects outside of Computing lessons, in fact increasingly, across all subjects.
3. Digital Citizenship
An increase in internet access and the proliferation of digital devices has augmented the rate of digital content creation, consumption and communication among students beyond what school curricula can keep up with.
In 2019 we expect to see parents and educators seeking further opportunities for professional learning and resources about methods to teach Digital Citizenship; for schools to develop their Digital Citizenship policies. Stay ahead of the curve by learning more about Digital Citizenship and taking these courses by Microsoft and Google.
4. Activities away from the screen
Integrating more technology in the education doesn’t mean that every activity should involve using a device. It is becoming increasingly understood that students need a balance of activities to develop all their senses and skills, as well as represent the online and offline relationship that technology has with the real world. Offline activities like unplugged activities help students understand and engage with the content, develop different learning styles like kinesthetic and tactile learning, encourage students to use their imagination and communicate face to face.
5. Personalized learning
It is well known that all students learn differently and at different paces, opportunities for personalized learning increases engagement and motivation, saves time and improves student results.
In 2019 you’ll see teachers personalize their students’ learning by using more applications of technology and data through online tools to let students define their own learning and outcomes. This will combine with existing trends in evolving principles of classroom design, teachers playing the role of facilitators and flipped learning, as well as using project based learning.
We are excited to see how teachers adopt these trends in their classrooms. BSD will be proud to release the culmination of its 2018 work with a brand new updated curriculum catalogue and resources.
If you are reading this and planning to implement any one of the above ideas in your classroom we would love to hear from you.