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Flipped schools: how to apply innovation in educational processes through technology
Innovation plays a main role to face current challenges with success in this fast changing world, where not even the names of future jobs exist yet.
From a clever perspective, taking knowledge and curiosity as the basic axis, further education becomes a valuable asset.
An open minded attitude and rethinking established processes become the key to change towards improvement. It turns even more relevant, referring to education, further education and learning.
Traditional model: the Prussian education system
Nowadays, the vast majority of western countries base its educational model upon the Prussian education system. This system was established in Prussia after several educational reforms in the late 18th and 19th century. Most of us are very familiar with it, due to its widespread influence. The teacher talks and talks about a certain subject, students take notes –most of the time making few or no questions- and then everyone spends time doing homework.
My point here is that in our world, society needs a new education system. A revolution is required: education must adapt itself being able to adjust to the fresh needs of our society. Right now, education and further education are essential drivers of the upcoming social changes, therefore there is a need for an education system based upon learning and innovation.
New system: flipped schools
Flipped schools emerge from this edge. By moving from teaching to learning, the old system turns upside down rethinking its whole base. Students do homework at the school discussing and debating with the teachers, as if it was a seminar, and the learning process continues at home by using technology, watching interactive videos. By doing so, this change empowers creativity, learning, analytics and testing to solving problems successfully.
USA has become one of the most advanced countries using this system. In 2004, Salman Khan started spreading this system that nowadays is used by universities such as Harvard, MIT, UCLA and Columbia.
Khan uploaded his first Youtube videos, and from that moment, thousands of people started watching them to learn by understanding what teachers were not capable to transfer to their students. This is how Khanacademy came to life.
As it was brought up previously, Khan focused on learning instead of teaching. By this, the scheme evolved setting a new pattern: students learn at home watching videos and doing homework at school with teachers and classmates through a collaborative learning process. The aim is to acquire a personalized education plan for each student according to his/her needs and capabilities.
Different and common points between systems
Regular school system and qualified teachers will be there and technology will never take their place. Notwithstanding, each role is going through a transformation process.
Technology will be used to empower schools, which will become a collaborative institution where students and teachers work together to improve and to take steps towards new heights of creativity through problem solving under different situations. On the other hand, teachers move from teaching towards tutoring and mentoring, supporting and motivating students as an added value to reinforce the issues learnt at home.
Trend or future?
Human factor will still be essential even though technology will take different paths. But, above this, role changing, adapting and moving forward must be taken into serious consideration. New professional categories will stablish and tasks might even change denominations.
Radio, TV and PCs were imagined to change educational patterns when they arrived. Nevertheless, the Prussian education system is still here and this mass media contributed to spreading information. Nowadays information is available in huge amounts, trough mobile devices, easily and directly brought to everyone. What has become more important is analyzing information to take decisions and solve problems. This might be the path towards excellence. The new model described here helps as an innovate tool to make it possible.
Schools and universities from the USA have already taken this system under their academic schemes, creating brand new collaborative platforms as www.coursera.org, www.edx.org and www.udacity.com
A new way of thinking is required to evolve from the old school system towards the steps education is taking. A new combined and more productive method must be adopted in order to cut down social inequality.