Trends In Education 2024 – The Proliferation Of The Smart Classroom
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  • Jeffrey Liang

Prepare for a new emerging future

In recent years, many studies and surveys have come to the same conclusion; an estimated 75% to 85% of children entering primary school today will take on professions and/or jobs that do not currently exist.1 We can only guess what these new professions and jobs will be, but we do know that new technological advancements, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Robotics, and others, have and will continue to render existing professions obsolete and while also creating new ones. Some examples of new professions created in recent years include AI engineers, data scientists, app developers, AR/VR programmers, blockchain analysts, and social media managers to name a few.

 

With all this in mind, the education of students can no longer follow the methods of the past. There is a growing global trend whereby curriculums are now based on the ever-evolving future and the prominent use of technology and smart classroom solutions. Educators worldwide are also pivoting to focus on universally valued skills that are future-proof and factor in the unique competencies and interests of individual students. Therefore, interdisciplinary learning, competency-based education, lifelong learning, and education technology (EdTech) within a smart classroom, such as teaching and classroom management software, are key trends that educators in the Asia Pacific region cannot ignore.

 

Futureproof your students and help them be competitive globally beyond APAC

According to the latest Employer Reputation survey, employers identified that university graduates in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region have the widest soft skill gap globally in problem-solving, followed by resilience, flexibility, active learning, and creativity.2 The reasons for this can be attributable to many factors and may vary from country to country. However, generally speaking, the unique cultures of the region have historically emphasized conformity, discipline, and rote memorization. While these methods have their merits in certain education systems, they are not necessarily fit for a dynamic, technology-based future smart workplace.

 

Additionally, along with technology advancements, the integration of data and AI into the workforce is on the rise, leading to a global increase in demand for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) hard skills.3 Professionals who possess proficiency in problem-solving, literacy, numeracy, and analytical capabilities have a competitive advantage and greater earning potential over their peers.3 To become more globally competitive in the new digital economy, emerging APAC countries must help students cultivate the right skills by incorporating effective learning approaches and education technology.3

 

Top 5 must-know education trends in the Asia Pacific

1. Competency-based education – help students achieve mastery rather than mere completion

So how do you ingrain problem-solving abilities, analytical thinking, flexibility, and creativity into the minds of students? One such method for achieving this is through the competency-based education (CBE) model. Simply put, CBE means that instead of focusing on grades and pre-planned curriculums, the focus is placed on how competent each student is in each subject. In traditional education, syllabi and topics are planned and milestones are uniformly set for all students. The downside of this method is that it assumes all students possess the same capabilities, interests, and learning preferences. This inevitably pushes many students forward throughout the school year without proper understanding of the materials taught or mastering any necessary skills, despite getting a satisfactory grade or score. In short, CBE aims to ensure students master what they are taught rather than just demonstrate satisfactory completion of tests and exams.

 

EdTech and smart classrooms are key components of an effective competency-based education system. They help students of all abilities and interests to develop creative thinking through active learning, which is to say through discussion, investigation, thinking, and brainstorming to name a few. Through a combination of hands-on group projects, new engaging ways of learning via technology, and even some traditional teaching methods, students learn by doing and through means that best help them master a subject or skill. EdTech and smart classrooms are also conducive to adaptive learning, a data-driven methodology that utilizes algorithms and real-time feedback to modify and personalize learning experiences for individual students.

 

Today, CBE is by no means a new experimental method of education; rather it is quickly catching on in many regions of the world.2

 

2. EdTech in the smart classroom makes for smarter students – interactive whiteboards are the backbone of EdTech

In a rapidly changing world dominated by AI and other technological advancements, we must also use technology to prepare students for the future. EdTech can help your schools transition away from the static and obsolete educational concepts and methods endemic to the APAC region and beyond. While we cannot predict what the future brings, we must provide them with the necessary skills, tools, and experiences that will allow them to be competitive and have the ability to adapt and handle complexity. You cannot afford to wait because EdTech is already in full swing in many regions, and if your school, country, or region falls behind, then you are placing your students at a big disadvantage. BenQ is here to help you get started.

 

EDLA-certified BenQ Boards, equipped with Google Play and Google’s core applications, enable you to install your preferred AI education apps directly on the board. Plus, BenQ Boards grants easy access to web-based AI platforms. Seven AI tools are also built right into BenQ Boards and diverse AI learning apps are available on GMS, allowing for better classroom accessibility, inclusivity, and safety. Learn more about BenQ’s smart classroom solutions and find out how we can help you advance your student’s education into the 21st Century.

 

Related:

7 AI Learning Tools Built Into BenQ Boards That You Might Not Know About

5 AI Apps to Transform Your Lessons on the BenQ Board

 

3. Interdisciplinary education – teach students to tackle complexity and see the big picture with EDLA-certified devices and other EdTech

For Gen Xers and Millennials reading this, you may remember your school days when you had classes for individual subjects for the STEMs (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), social studies, music, art, etc. However, in the real world, we have come to understand as adults that no subject or profession is an island. Everything is interconnected and interrelated. Many subjects have evolved from other disciplines, and are influenced by theories and concepts from other fields. For example, music can be seen as a mathematical formula. Historical events are influenced by geography and even the weather. New technologies are often conceived to address societal ills or natural disasters. This is known as interdisciplinary education. Through the versatility and the hybrid nature of EdTech and the smart classroom including EDLA-certified interactive displays with interactive whiteboard features and Google Mobile Services (GMS), AI, and Gamification, educators are equipped with powerful tools to help students understand subjects and topics from many different perspectives and viewpoints.

 

Another important aspect of interconnectedness that educators should not overlook is the relationship of students to the world beyond their brick-and-mortar schools.3 In the globalized world that we live in, what happens on one side of the planet will inevitably have an impact on people across the world. From wars, and climate change, to financial crises, students need to interact with people from different countries, cultures, religions, and points of view. With the power of EdTech, closer collaboration, and connectivity with local communities4, other schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses, teachers can truly give their pupils the “big picture” and see the world for what it truly is.

 

4. Lifelong learning – adaptability in an ever-changing world

In a dynamic and constantly changing world, the ability to up-skill or expand one’s knowledge base is crucial. Especially with the emergence of AI, Machine Learning, and Automation among others, no one person or profession can remain static. One such example is the growing trend of Micro-Credentials, which are short and focused qualification programs designed to provide in-demand skills, know-how, and experience.

 

Another much-related trend in recent years is the use of Nano Learning (also known as Micro-Learning), an approach that delivers material to students in focused, bite-sized formats, such as short videos. Both approaches focus on helping people master new skills or knowledge in a short amount of time because when in-demand skills are always evolving. In the past, retraining or up-skilling people was a cumbersome and expensive matter requiring physical classrooms, multiple teachers, and teaching materials. Luckily, with EdTech this is no longer a barrier as teachers and students alike can now easily leverage resources such as online and hybrid classrooms, digital media, and other digital tools.

 

5. Well-being and mental health – a smarter way to keep students healthy and happy

In the last 5 years, almost half of parents (48%) have increased their expectations of their child’s school to support wellbeing. More than one in four (27%) have significantly or somewhat increased their expectations.5 In other words, parents now hold schools to a higher standard than before concerning their children’s mental health and well-being. And that makes a lot of sense as schools are where most children spend most of their waking hours and also where they experience the most stress. Whether from test preparation, homework, or social situations, schools have never been all fun and games, especially in the APAC region. What’s more, there is a clear link between well-being and academic achievement. Therefore, schools have an important role to play in helping students maintain good physical and mental health.

 

EdTech and the smart classroom can play an essential role in assisting schools to assess and address health and well-being effectively and promptly. For example, with virtual counseling, counselors can now be more accessible to students and parents alike, ensuring more direct communications rather than relying on ad hoc reporting. Also through the use of EdTech, teachers can support students with disabilities such as visually impaired individuals via Text-to-Speech and children with mobility issues via wireless screen sharing and communications. The smart classroom can also play a key role in maintaining physical health, for example, germ-resistant displays, eye protection technologies, air quality monitoring, air purification ,and the promotion of physical activities via engaging multimedia.

 

References

  1. Scientific Research. (2016). Current Trends in Competency Based Education. https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation?paperid=71340
  2. HurixDigital. (2024). Innovative Approaches to K-5 Education: Nurturing Young Minds. https://www.hurix.com/innovative-approaches-to-k5-education/
  3. ecis. (2023). Telecollaboration: Empowering Students Through Global Connections. https://www.ecis.org/telecollaboration/
  4. Stand Together. (2024). 7 education trends to watch in 2024. https://standtogether.org/news/trends-in-education-to-watch/
  5. McCrindle Research. (2023). Top 5 education trends. https://mccrindle.com.au/industry/education/top-5-education-trends/

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