Over the past two years, the education sector has had more than its fair share of challenges. A mass lockdown led to disrupted education for thousands of students across the world, and although there was an effort to shift learning online, this was difficult for students who faced accessibility issues.
But digital learning doesn’t have to be disconnected and isolated, there are many ways in which collaboration can be achieved online and future digital learning should be geared towards offering this.
Despite the collective effort of teachers and education leaders, some students are still struggling to catch up from the aftermath of multiple lockdowns, with many still falling behind on reading and mathematics targets. There is no doubt that the pandemic widened pre-existing opportunity and achievement gaps, hitting historically disadvantaged students hardest.
Considering this, it’s time for our education systems to start embracing a more Global Classroom, one which doesn’t focus on memorizing information, but on fundamental skills-building, problem-solving and international collaboration.
What is a global classroom?
A Global Classroom is one that encourages students to broaden their perspectives and mindsets. This type of curriculum prepares students by teaching them about the problems being faced in the world, whether that’s global warming, global famine or the need for advancements in healthcare.
Instead of leaving the world’s problems to future generations, a Global Classroom would encourage students to be aware of these issues and encourage them to forge career paths that focus on solving these problems.
Additionally, this approach tears down the international competition by unifying the learning experience for children around the world, ensuring all students have access to quality education and have a collaborative – not competitive – approach.
A global classroom embraces skill-based learning
Many of the current educational systems are designed to test children on how well they retain information. But as we know, this is an archaic method of learning, and as we advance in society, our education systems must do so as well. We know that the skills needed for the future go way beyond the skills of memorization and so our goal in education should be for our students to be successful and fulfilled, to reach their full potential and make a valuable contribution to society.
Society needs people who have strong interpersonal skills and creative thinking, we need people who have the ability of practical application and dispositions such as resilience and persistence – these are skills that exams cannot measure.
A Global Classroom would ensure that the learning experience isn’t solely dedicated to academia but focuses on teaching skills that is useful in everyday life. Whether it’s learning effective social skills or encouraging an entrepreneurial mindset, a Global Classroom is one that allows students to thrive by developing them as individual people, not just as academics.
Encouraging digital literacy on a deeper level
As every aspect of our lives becomes digitized, so should the learning experience. Although students are taught basic computer skills, a Global Classroom would ensure that every child has the digital skills needed to thrive in the world of work as well as forge their own path. It would also encourage a deep understanding of the latest technological trends and advancements, whether that’s AI, coding or machine learning.
With so much of the world’s business infrastructure relying on advanced technologies, students would know how these systems work, why they’re needed, as well as be able to build a specialized skill set for these areas.
Championing student-centered interactive learning
The education system should not be a one-size-fits-all approach, instead, students should have the opportunity to explore how they learn best and what subjects they’re most interested in. Of course, it’s essential that children have a well-rounded education, but what they learn and how they’re assessed should play to their strengths too.
Interactive learning isn’t only more engaging for students – it also sharpens their critical thinking and analytical skills, which are essential transferable skills in the world we live in.
Creating cultural literacy
One of the most important aspects of a Global Classroom is that students are presented with a chance to interact with peers around the world and learn about the different cultures, societies and values. This also teaches the future leaders of our generation that collaboration is essential for advancement in our society. As our world becomes more globalized, it’s essential that we teach children to build relationships with those outside of our own ‘bubble’ which is not only beneficial for them, but the world we live in. Ultimately, the Global Classroom is an educational system that brings a more progressive, future-focused method of learning to students to enable them to thrive in the ever-changing world in which we live. Not only to benefit them, and make their educational experience more enriching and fulfilling but to benefit wider society. If we are to build leaders of the future, we need to start with education.