Without pointing any fingers, it's pretty safe to say that teaching and training aren't always the most funded or supported endeavors. It's pretty common to hear educators say that if they only had ___, they could dive into new subject areas, inspire inquiry in their learners, spend more time with those who need extra help, allow exceptional students to go further, make assessment and evaluation richer, and generally be the kind of educator they really want to be.
While it's possible that the circumstances surrounding education and training may not change any time soon, the wide variety of technical tools available can help fill in some these gaps. When choosing which of these tools to work into a classroom or training environment, a useful starting point is the question "In a perfect world, how would I like my learning environment to be?"
Here are some possible answers:
- If smaller class sizes are part of your ideal, there may not be ways of shrinking your actual numbers, but there are tools that allow an educator to shrink the distance between them and learners. The right platform can help them track a learners progress, both as an individual, and as part of a group. It can also make it possible for learners to ask for help as soon as they need it, and for educators to anticipate stumbling blocks before they become a problem.
- Maybe you'd wish for the resources needed to teach to a variety of learning styles. An effective learning platform will facilitate a multi-media, multi-platform approach, both in the way materials are presented to learners, and the ways that learners can demonstrate understanding. Instead of just listening and writing, learners can capture their thoughts in video, audio, or even augmented reality. There are opportunities to work collaboratively and individually, and the capacity to access materials, notes, and assignments any where, any time.
- Perhaps you'd like to allow your students to explore on their own, be more hands-on, be creative, and be able to make mistakes. A learning platform that provides scaffolded micro-learning can accommodate this, watching and supporting learners at each step, while still giving them the freedom to really try things out for themselves. It can also allow students to continue their inquiry outside of the classroom, possibly even after a course has ended.
- You might think, in a perfect world, individual educators would be able to put their own personal spin on curriculum, being able to use materials that are relevant to them, and to their learners. The right learning platform should be easily authorable, so that each individual educator, and each of their classes, can use materials that really work for them. Materials can be kept current, relevant, and interesting. What works can be built upon from session to session, and what doesn't can be easily replaced.
Being a little dreamy about how you'd like to teach or train your learners can actually be a useful exercise when choosing which tools to use. Although none of us teach in a perfect world, having your wishes come true may not be as far off as you think. There may not be a magic wand to wave, but there are possibilities in platforms that can help you get a little closer to an ideal learning environment.
For more information on how we can help you get there, contact us!