Key trends in education need classroom rethink

Rethinking classrooms, positioning students as creators rather than consumers and enabling authentic learning experiences are some of the key issues facing today’s educators.

This is according to Griffith University’s Dr Jason Zagami who will speak at the Queensland Digital Technologies Summit in Brisbane on Wednesday, June 15.

“There is a trend to reinvent the classroom and rearrange the school experience where students move from one learning activity to another more organically, removing the limitations of the bell schedule,’’ he says of the trend in reshaping traditional classrooms.

“As technologies such as tablets and smartphones are more readily accepted in schools, educators are leveraging these tools to connect the curriculum with real life applications.”

Students as creators

Dr Zagami (right) said in today’s classrooms student learners are able to explore subjects through the act of creation rather than mere consumption of content.

“There is a vast array of digital tools available to support this from kindergarten to Year 12. This can lead to deeply engaging learning experiences whereby students become the authorities on subjects through investigation, storytelling and production.

“In particular, the Digital Technologies curriculum enables the development of higher order thinking skills such as computational, design, systems, futures and strategic thinking in students.”

“Other components of this trend include game development and access to programming instruction that nurtures learners as inventors and entrepreneurs.”

Dr Zagami also advocates for authentic student learning experiences.

“It’s important to bring students in touch with the world outside school — where reflection and self-awareness are cornerstones to their learning. In this way students can experience the future that awaits them once they graduate.”

The Queensland Digital Technologies Summitfocuses on strategies for teachers to incorporate digital technologies across the curriculum.