What Just Happened? The Drastic Change in Education

Last week, Satya Nadella made a virtual keynote for the Microsoft Build Conference. My personal observation from the keynote was “Digital transformation that was projected to happen over the next 10 years is happening today”. If this is happening worldwide for all sectors and organisations, what does this mean for change in education?

The seismic shift that has happened had a major impact on education. Educators around the world had to shift and shift fast. And they did.

Traditionally change in education has been an understandably slow, planned, nurtured, process. With school leaders planning for years to move thinking and understanding. All that went out the window in 2020.

Teachers upskilled in days. They shifted their thinking and teaching activity extremely quickly. They then learned and applied pedagogical practice to these new skills. Shared massively online with peers around the world. All to support the students they care for

This was amazing to see and feel.

Now, we are in a different stage. Now we are, mainly, back in school. Faces masked up and areas taped off – so not quite as before.

So, what does the latest change in education mean as we move forward?

Do we just go back to the previous version of learning? What did that mean for you, in your context? What does this mean for your pupils?

So many questions that need to be unpicked and they will be over time. What are the skills you want to keep? What are the skills that your pupils need for the future?

One thing is key; learning is a human activity and its emotional. If a pupil is not emotionally ready to learn, then they cannot learn, no matter what age they are.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a fundamental part of learning. Engaging with the peer community to get depth and develop empathy and understanding is essential no matter what the change in education.

According to Nebel et al. 2016,

“Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making have all been identified as significant contributors to SEL. Mixed Reality, in turn, has been shown to support collaborative learning modalities in adaptive, creative environments.”

So how can we develop these essential skills while in this hybrid environment we are in now? How do we gain learning experiences as well grow as human beings?

Lets ask the reception class of St Anne’s Church of England School near Manchester, England.

This is a class that is learning. That are engaged and sharing an experience. We continue to be blown away by the power of virtual reality.

Last question; What happens in your school next?

If you’re interested in making a change in education using virtual reality, book a demonstration of ClassVR here.

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Ian Stuart – Head of Education