Magic in the classroom happens thanks to the teachers, the true magicians! Edtech entrepreneurs have often a hard time understanding that it is not enough to tell how boring learning is to provoke changes. Changes must be built out of consensus between all parties involved. One intangible feature of the learning process remains the classroom. Design may be more or less creative. Accessibility and connectivity may vary. But the classroom remains the center of attraction for students, teachers and parents.
What can we do to make the classroom a better place to teach and learn? How can we help the teacher pay attention to a (too) large group of students, maintain the group cohesion and at the same time make his or her teaching as personalized as possible to take care of the classroom diversity? How can we help the teachers do better his or her work (and not take his or her place!).
Some innovative tools have been designed to do just this: help teachers teach better. It sounds too simple to be true.
Take the example of Unio by Harness, an innovative teaching tool proposed by a startup in which P.A.U. Education has invested. Unio by Harness came out of a design thinking process with teachers. Some would say: what a strange idea to involve teachers in the innovation process!
Teachers require key supporting features to gain time, raise attention and concentrate on the most needed students. They want to be able to better plan their class, communicate the main contents in advance to the students, structure their teaching around activities they have designed themselves, control how their students learn but without imposing the learning pace, let group work develop and encourage peer learning.
This is exactly where technology can help and this is what Unio by Harness does. But technology is useless if not piloted by the teacher from the very beginning. The teacher has to decide which technology he or she wants to use, in a given context and for a given purpose.
Teachers that have chosen Unio by Harness are just pretending to do their job better. This is truly magical!
Innovation in education is often seen as a commitment at improving the quality of education.
But what does it mean to educate?
To this essential question, the French geneticist and humanist Albert Jacquard answers “E-ducere” that is to say “to awaken the appetite, to create needs, to raise questions”. “Education must be lived as a commitment in the collective game where men and women – (Jacquard called them“lucid men”) – build themselves mutually.”
This vision of education takes us far away from the classroom where it usually stays and brings new perspectives to innovators in education.
The challenge is to (re)think of education as a global solution to meet the following three objectives:
Innovation in education in this context means much more than “anyone, anywhere, anytime”.
Education is a dialogue, an innovative form of communication that must favor the creative and constructive appropriation by ALL the inhabitants of the planet and above all by the younger generations of ALL the themes vital to our future.
Education relies in this new context on a “pedagogy of the question” and not on prefabricated answers or ready to use technology with pre-existing contents.
Education requires the participation of all in the construction of the common good.
Education is thus the means of sensitizing and provoking the participation of the greatest number on each of the subjects that condition the quality of our lives and our “living together”.
Education is therefore a tool of social transformation enabling individuals, starting with the youngest, to become aware of problems that are essential to them, to move forward with behavioral changes and to influence the behavior of the community in which they live.
Innovators in education have no other choice than to contribute to this social transformation. Are they aware of it?
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