Dar tiempo al tiempo

Education is in a hurry to change. PISA has just been released and ministers all over the work are going crazy to innovate and improve. For them, time is an issue. In other words, they need change NOW! Time has always been an issue: it takes too long to innovate, too long to change the sytem.

Time is certainly the most crucial problem raised by teachers when they are asked about innovation in the classroom. Time is a “scarce good”. Teachers need time to prepare their lessons. They need time to teach. They need time to spend with their students, listen to them, help them. They need time to investigate new methods, new tools. They need time to train. They need time to work with their colleagues on joint projects, time to spend with the headmaster, … Time they simply don’t have.


Students also require time to study, time to do their homework. They need time to team up with their mates and jointly work on projects, time to think and investigate. They need time to relax and play. A time they usually don’t have. They also require time from their teacher to help them learn better, time from their parents to get guidance… time none of them usually have.

The paradox is well known: (good) Education needs time that no one has! Time is a key challenge for education entrepreneurs. Innovation in education should enable teachers and students “buy back” the precious time they need to teach and learn better. Often innovative solutions are too complex and take too long to be implemented in school. Innovative solutions for the classroom should be time efficient, respectful of both teacher’s and student’s time constraints.

“Dar tiempo al tiempo” (give time to time) could very well be the new edtech challenge.

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