The Basics of Future Ready Learning
Education, based on available sources, started around the 4th century BC and has come a long way since then. Lots of things have changed and most of it was reinvented and repurposed to serve the needs of the present day we are living in.
Today, we have eliminated store clerks and people are scanning their items themselves, students are learning new skills and hobbies without the help of tutors or teachers, and animals are being fed by an automatic system instead of farmers. Who would have thought things would be this way 60 years ago?
Since change is unpredictable and we can’t calculate the future, being future-ready is mandatory if we want to survive in a constantly changing environment. So what direction is education headed into?
Future-ready learning is education re-shaped in a way to fit today’s needs in terms of curriculum and new technologies. It relies on new and non-traditional pedagogical approaches and it also places an emphasis on cultivating the students’ soft skills. The tradition of holding down the same job until we retire is a thing of the past now, and future employees will most likely need these soft skills in order to adapt to new situations and changing economic conditions.
When it comes to the benefits of future-ready learning, here are some of the most important ones:
- – Developing skills like adaptability, curiosity, leadership, resilience, etc.
- – Embracing a Growth Mindset
- – Developing technical competencies
- – Enhancing the Quality of Learning
- – Practical, hands-on learning approaches
- – Easier access & facilitation of online libraries and learning materials
- – Flexibility in schedule, the possibility of asynchronous learning
Types of Future-Ready Learning
Future-ready learning can take many forms, but if we are to talk about some of the most exciting techniques, we can differentiate the following ones:
- Activities including Interactive whiteboards and displays – engaging students and teachers and encouraging expression of ideas
- Audio technology – we’ve got a whole online library of audio materials at our disposal, starting with podcasts, Ted Talks, and lectures. Why not take advantage of it?
- Video conferencing platform – offers the possibility for meetings with experts in different fields + resources that would not be otherwise available in the offline
- Digital textbooks – e-books or apps that often contain multimedia elements such as videos, images, and audio clips, making them more engaging than traditional textbooks
Future-ready learning ecosystem
The environments where future-ready learning happens must also be aligned with the core purpose of the learning style. These ecosystems are usually the opposite of traditional schools and classrooms. They adopt technologies that support modern learning techniques and help the students to become problem-solvers, and creative thinkers, and have the cognitive flexibility and emotional intelligence that is required nowadays.
One way to promote this learning style is to use versatile furniture, such as mobile tables or desks that can be arranged for flexible group sizes.
Technology Use in Future Ready Learning
If there is something that is changing every day as we go, it’s definitely technology. Given the fact that new technologies get discovered on a daily, most of them will probably be part of our future so we need to prepare our students accordingly.
Technology can be used in various different ways in the classroom, but it all depends on how effectively it can be integrated into the curriculum. It can be used for instruction, assessment, and collaboration with other students and teachers.
To provide some examples of when future-ready technology comes in useful, just imagine:
- – Learning about a new topic with the help of a podcast
- – Watching a movie to understand a certain phenomenon, period of time, etc.
- – Being able to learn a new skill with the help of the internet, when there is no faculty to teach it or resources available
- – Attending courses with lectors or speakers that would otherwise never make it to your school in real life
- – The chance to have virtual chemistry, biology, anatomy, and physics labs
The Future of Learning Technologies
Although future-ready technologies already exist and are being implemented as we speak, we also need to think about the future state of learning technologies. The US National Science Foundation (NFS) is currently researching opportunities that could involve the use of future-ready technologies in the future.
Some of these examples are:
- – Increased use of games and simulations
- – New ways to connect physical and virtual interaction with learning technologies
- – Interactive three-dimensional imaging software
- – Augmented reality (AR) as a new way of investigating our context and history
Assessment in Future Ready Learning
As the learning and teaching techniques change to adapt to future-ready learning, so should the approaches to Assessment. In traditional schools, the most often used methods of assessment are multiple-choice tests or open-ended questions and they rarely change.
With the introduction of future-ready learning, these assessment techniques should also reflect the out-of-the-box thinking that is promoted. Thus, the most important assessment types can be split into 2 big categories:
- – Summative assessments to narrow down the achievement gap between students
- – Formative assessments to easily track student progress across time
If we are to give more precise examples, here are some formative assessment types that could work out great in a future-ready learning environment:
- – Graphic response, which includes any item to which students respond by drawing, moving, arranging, or selecting graphic regions
- – Hot text, in which students select or rearrange sentences or phrases within a passage
- – Equation response, in which students respond by entering an equation
- – Performance-based assessments, in which students perform a series of complex tasks, etc.
Think you’d like to be assessed in one of the ways enumerated in the article? What about learning something new in a non-traditional way? If the future-ready learning options sound like the perfect choice for you, we might be able to help you!
Future-ready learning FAQ
Questions about future-ready learning? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
What is a future-ready learner?
A student that is or has been enrolled in a future-ready school where education is taught in a revolutionary way, involving new technologies and teaching relevant skills. A future-ready learner is able to work in a group or independently, is tech-savvy, and is prepared to face new challenges all the time.
What can students do to be ready for the future?
Students can, first of all, seek schools that support and encourage this learning style. On an individual basis, students can also prepare themselves to be future-ready learners by participating in non-traditional training sessions, and formative workshops, or even by learning to solve issues with technology. They can also learn new future-ready skills from online sources available and self-teaching should be one of their faithful resources.
What is important for future-ready learning?
It’s important to have people and environments that understand the importance of adapting to the future and its new ways. Future-ready learning should embrace change in thinking, and it should open new doors and opportunities for our kids and students. If we want to be prepared for a future that is most probably going to be very different from the days we are living now, future-ready learning is the way to go.