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Monday, June 12, 2017

What schools can learn from a simple tailor | NEO Blog

Follow on Twitter as @LiviaMihai
"The children who go to school today will surely engage with unforeseen technologies in their future" reports Livia Mihai, lead online voice of NEO by CYPHER LEARNING. She writes about education technology for K-12 and higher ed, gamification, BYOD, as well as other ed-tech subjects.  

Photo: NEO Blog

Nothing much would be an average answer, but I beg to differ. And the following story will make my case.

You see, I grew up wearing almost only tailor-made clothes. They were unique, they fit me perfectly, and all my friends and classmates envied me for this. No, my parents were not millionaires. My mother was a professional tailor.

Growing up in the same house with a professional tailor had a not-that-glamorous aspect as well: scissors. Many scissors. One sharper than the other.

My mum’s collection of scissors was indeed impressive. And only she would decide if a certain pair of scissors could join it. If the new scissors wouldn’t meet her requirements, it would end up in my father’s toolbox, doomed to cut wires and various other things that were not fabric.

She always used to say, referring to her scissors:
A great tool does half the job for you.
Because apparently you can’t cut wool or jeans with the same scissors you use for silk. Well, you actually can, but you just shouldn’t. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

And then, when we played Fashion Police and critiqued poorly-made clothes, she would add: “It’s not the scissors’ fault that clothing item is bad.”

School leaders today could surely learn a thing or two from my mother’s scissory wisdom, don’t you agree? No? Well then, allow me to put a spin on her words, to make this a bit clearer.

“A great tool does half the job for you.” becomes…

… Technology does half the job for educators!

The past 10 years have witnessed more significant and significantly more technology advances than the previous 50 years combined. Technology is a huge part of our lives and also our students’ lives.

The children who go to school today will surely engage with unforeseen technologies in their future. It is schools’ ultimate job to prepare students for the future, so adopting technology in the classroom might not be such a bad idea.

There already exist plenty of technological solutions that have been specifically created for the education market. These put automation to great use and assist teachers in their class instruction:
  • this app using gamification is great because it makes students deeply engaged with the learning activities, keeps their tushes in chairs and their hands up in the air;
  • that AI-powered content curation platform helps teachers find the most relevant and up-to-date resources for their teaching materials;
  • this LMS makes it easy to create personalized learning paths of online courses for students, keep track of their progress, collaborate with everyone, and also maintain contact with parents;
  • that VR headset can create the most immersive learning experience for students and dramatically improve their retention rates.
Even for tech-savvy teachers there’s a whole new world out there when it comes to using technology to enhance classroom instruction.

This post was originally published on Microsoft UK Schools blog, May 5, 2017.

Source: NEO Blog