This post was authored by Emma King, our VP of Learning & Development.
I had the pleasure of joining thousands of learners at Cisco’s 2nd Annual Virtual Forum for Education Leaders, held on the INXPO platform. The event delivered on its promise to speak about bridging gaps in education and leveraged virtual technology to deliver a global message to participants from over 100 countries.
A compelling agenda empowered 16 thought leaders to collaborate to deliver a resounding message to school systems worldwide, that it’s time to use technology to connect with students, and that the technology is ready to enable collaboration, resources and metrics to monitor our students effectively. Case Studies were presented on how to use video to deliver theory, how moderated chat rooms can continue the conversation and how live webcasts & forums can draw from the knowledge of the audience to empower the students to be responsible for their own learning.
The Future of Classroom Learning
Unfortunately, today’s classroom structure delivers a stream of theory content to students without evaluating their knowledge, tracking their skillset or empowering the student to pace their own education. Today’s event highlighted exactly how and why classrooms of the future can be shaped using virtual learning technologies to provide theory delivery, combined with forums for mentoring and further expert advice. The expert advice could be done utilizing virtual collaboration tools or by providing innovative study halls.
More Targeted Instruction
Salman Khan of Khan Academy spoke clearly to the benefits of using video to connect with students, with the ability to drive the opportunity for feedback in a formal/virtual classroom setting. The key message here was that by tracking learning behaviors in the consumption of that learning, teachers can use metrics to pinpoint those students who are struggling and provide focused interventions to them, while not needing to reinforce the therory to those who clearly understand.
Our stereotypical “push form” of learning does not entice our students to learn, and brands schools with the label of “boring”, according to keynote speaker Gregory B. Whitby, Executive Director, Diocese of Parramatta. Enabling students to consume the facts/theory online prior to a lesson enables the teachers to focus on those students who need intervention, and allow those who ‘get it’ to work at their own pace.,
Similar to that of my own daughter and her dexterity in the use of my iPad on international trips to England, John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO, highlighted that his granddaughter can use an iPad with such ease that he knows that the device drives our learning, much as the content drives the device.
Virtual innovation has created a dynamic, hybrid space for learning and our schools ought to start using technology to connect with their students. We’ve published a White Paper on Virtual Learning. Contact me if you’d like a copy.
About the Author
Emma, our VP of Learning & Development, is responsible for working with INXPO’s Clients & Partners to build learning centric virtual environments.