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Innovation in Schools

We look at the emergence of Online Learning Systems and how they are affecting schools

4Nov

As businesses continue to innovate and create products that push the barriers, there is an increasing desire to use technology to help the education system enable greater connectivity and flexibility.

There has been a lot of press centered on the emergence of online systems that have the capacity to measure student engagement. For example, The University of Tasmania has introduced a Learning Management System that tracks student engagement. The data they attain can provide educators with information that could be vital to an individual’s academic progression

These Learning Systems don’t categorize students but instead tailor content and monitor how they are interacting with it. Currently these systems aren’t full proof, it’s difficult to tell what a student is thinking when they spend 2 seconds on a page; do they understand the topic already? Or are they so confused by what they’ve seen that they can’t bear to look at it? It’s difficult to tell.

Nevertheless, the ‘flipped classroom’ is a step forward. It changes the way students interact with content by giving them more of an opportunity to ask questions. It also gives teachers the ability to mold classes around pupils, not just a rigid curriculum. It’s important to add that online learning systems will never be a substitute for teacher interaction; it’s just an extension of the learning environment, which gives educators much more opportunity to delve into one on one teaching.

This is similar to how laptops and tablets have been used to compliment traditional teaching tools, like textbooks. Technological innovation is a catalyst to improve upon the level of teaching seen in many of today’s schools, but it’s only one piece in the puzzle and it has to be used correctly.

It’s an exciting time to be a student, there’s never been more information available and the barriers to it have never been lower. Innovation in schools will take a lot of fleshing out and will probably never be an exact science but it should be seen as an imperative for school officials who want the next generation to be as able as possible.

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