Innovation in Education.

  Innovative practices aren’t exclusive to just corporate companies anymore. Educators and educational institutions have been trying to find ways of engaging students and making education more inclusive, and innovation has been their way to go. Many traditional educational institutions are starting to experiment with new educational models, including reverse delivery, gamified exploration, collective discovery and crowd-tapped research. Each of these trends has huge potential to accelerate the intellect of the next generation. However, the short-term ventures that have best growth potentials are more tactical, such as online delivery, new collaboration models, and crowd-funding. A key trend that I'm seeing is the reversal of contextual roles. In the past, we went to lectures to take in the 'content', and learn to apply the content outside the classroom. Now, through the activation of online delivery, we are seeing that flip wherein the content is consumed online (outside the classroom), while the time spent with professors is directed towards application. Here are some innovative educational technologies that have been booming for the past years:
    1. Online classes. As we try to make education more inclusive, online classes have been a great venue for students who cannot physically attend school. One example of this is Udemy. What sets Udemy apart from other online classes is that it is an online marketplace where anyone can upload and sell a class. They offer customized training courses that students can tailor fit to what they need to learn. Another example is Coursera. Coursera has partnered with top universities around the world to offer real college online courses for free.  It also offers authentication of certification after completing a course (for a fee), and now, expands to specializations like data science, cyber security, or Android mobile app development.

Online Learning

  1. Classroom collaboration. Technological advancements allow students to collaborate with one another. One example of this is Kramer. Kramer enables students to do live collaboration across any device. “The system allows students to share work on a central monitor — either one for the whole classroom or one for each group of students. From a control panel, the teacher can supervise all ongoing work and also participate. Another example is Blackboard Collaborate. It is a browser-based web conferencing platform that allows distance teaching and easier learning. It features a chat box where all participants can share their thoughts, a whiteboard text editing that allows content to be added and edited real time, and video conference capabilities.
  2. Education through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding platform is established to help raise funds and provide for teachers and students’ supplies or resources that they need. They are the only platform that is focused exclusively on education. And in some countries we are seeing platforms go as far as crowd funding medium for educational fees. Two strong models exist; a) donor based; where contributions are gifts to support education, and b) investment based; where contributors are investing in the individuals potential, with a return schedule.
Surely, as time goes by, more innovative practices will be introduced in the education sector to make education more accessible to everyone. What innovative practices do you think will be adapted in the future?   References: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-moocs-are-flattening-corporate-training-and-education/ http://www.fastcompany.com/3000042/how-coursera-free-online-education-service-will-school-us-all http://www.blackboard.com/online-collaborative-learning/blackboard-collaborate-features.aspx http://www.channelpronetwork.com/slideshow/5-examples-collaborative-technology-k-12-classrooms?page=4 http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2015/10/25/driving-innovation-10-edtech-companies-you-need-to-know-about/#430bdc54ebef  

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