Preparing students for the digital economy’s demands is now the end goal for any educator, and discussions abound on the best methods to do so. Through the years, curriculums have changed, educational programmes altered, all in the name of incorporating technology into everyday activities without compromising the students’ comfort at any phase of their educational experience.
However, with so much focus placed on making students more tech-savvy, we often overlook one crucial question: are our teachers embracing 21st century skills as well?
Students nowadays have greater and easier access to knowledge, thanks to the ease with which technology has become accessible. A child's life without mobile phones, laptops, social media, and so on is not as common as you’d think.
Nowadays, children as young as seven years old can navigate through Instagram and TikTok with ease. For the most part, technology is no longer seen as a luxury; it has firmly entrenched itself in the realm of critical necessities.
The increasing ease of access to technology often allows students to learn about what is taught in the classroom. As a result, educators must still stay one step ahead of their peers, necessitating that schools recruit and actively prepare them to stay ahead of the curve and give more to students than the regular textbook experience.
Many teachers recognise the importance of this and strive to further their skills on a regular basis. However, schools and educational institutions must undertake daily learning events for teachers in order to hold them up to date with different new age instructional methods, principles, and procedures.
Giving birth to tech-savvy teachers
Today's school sector desperately needs information and communication technology (ICT) and access to it. For decades now, ICT has quietly impacted our everyday lives, and the teaching world is no different.
ICT enables teachers to change study content in order to incorporate more real-world topics into the classroom, providing students with a more well-rounded experience.
Classrooms are no longer a one-way communication channel for schooling. Education has evolved into a more immersive and varied environment. With a multitude of instructional topics and formats available, adding a technical edge to the classroom often assists in making the learning experience more exciting and easier.
As a result, teachers can continue to add value and be important to their students. Digital workshops, webinars, web/video conferencing, using the internet, CDs, and videotapes are some examples of ICT resources that teachers may have access to.
Google Classroom, Canvas, and Blackboard Learn are examples of learning management systems that have made marking, preparing studies, and sharing files between students and teachers easy, quick, and paperless. This approach is not only environmentally sustainable, but it also avoids a large amount of time that would otherwise be spent on manually executing these activities.
Due to the availability and assistance of advanced software and design resources, training educators to use technology in their teaching processes would enable them to innovate more in lesson planning.
Education in the twenty-first century is all about creativity, problem-solving, and critical thought. Education is no longer confined to the sage and student system, in which a teacher reads from a book and students listen disinterestedly. Teachers in the twenty-first century must present ideas in a manner that piques the student's curiosity.
Thus, in order to educate students in the twenty-first century, teachers must develop skills such as practical application, imagination, ingenuity, engagement, and constructive questions and study. Teachers should be presented with ongoing educational sessions to help them adapt to these principles and demonstrate new ways to implement them.
Learning and growth, as well as continuing preparation, are important components of every career. Teaching is no exception. Any educational institution should prioritise introducing teachers to new technology and ensuring that they use them. Professionally accessible multimedia methods should be wired to hold remote sessions for teachers on the most recent training resources available.
They can also be given workshops on new teaching approaches and understanding student psychology. This would help them appreciate students' thinking patterns and backgrounds, allowing for some customization in the classroom.
The twenty-first century is the age of personalization. Teachers must be able to pursue new ideas in academics in order to offer lessons that are relevant to the learners' needs, aspirations, and wishes. Teachers must realise that no two students are identical, and thus each student must be taught differently. Innovation and customization should be promoted and observed at all stages.
Finally, no matter the age, nothing will ever replace a coach. No robot or technology would ever be large enough to take on the position of a teacher. However, by implementing these approaches, teachers can be forced to adapt to the demands of the current generation of learners, preventing them from being obsolete and their core knowledge from being obsolete.
In the past few years, a student's requirements have altered drastically. Students' mindsets and behaviours are no longer dictated by their teachers or primary caregivers. Also children as young as 3-5 years old have the potential to choose their field of interest and commit to it, so it is critical that teachers realign their abilities to capture their focus.
By schooling being more 'smart,' teaching has also changed dramatically. To expedite and automate repetitive procedures for students, educational institutions have implemented cutting-edge new technologies; thus, they will devote their resources to more constructive tasks, such as effective classroom engagement, contact with peers, and, most importantly, focused and practical information sharing, which will prepare students to take over the world.