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The Case for Change: Why Educators Are Embracing a New Approach for Global Education Success

Tasked with guiding and inspiring the next generation of global citizens, as well as fuelling industry with talented recruits, educators have always faced pressing challenges. And now, in the face of shrinking budgets, increasing populations, and unprecedented global competition, the task has never been harder.

New Problems. Old Solutions?

Politicians and commentators call for more budget, a focus on the core curriculum, and a back-to-basics approach to delivery, but our customers are embracing more wholesale pedagogical change. Forward-looking institutions know that conventional solutions aren’t enough to address the new issues faced by the global education industry.

The demands of an unpredictable employment market, where automation threatens many traditional jobs, mean that schools, colleges and universities are reexamining the education they provide. When the application of expertise in decision-making becomes increasingly important to employers, then learning by rote—where theoretical knowledge is most valued—is no longer the best way to equip school-leavers with the skills they need for the workplace.

Instead, Canvas customers are offering a more flexible and student-centred learning experience, which allows self-directed study and prioritises critical thinking and an adaptable, polymath approach to skills development. This is crucial in ensuring that students are work-ready and equipped with the skills they need for employment and beyond.

A Holistic Approach to Change

Recognising that traditional schooling is just one part of readying young people to work and live in a new and increasingly digital landscape, organisations like UNESCO are also urging educators to look more holistically at the teaching and learning experience.

The organisation prioritises four pillars of learning: learning to know, learning to do, learning to be and learning to live together. This more rounded approach to education moves beyond the classroom and develops the skills and knowledge for lifelong learning.

Our forward-looking customers are demonstrating this by focusing on issues such as digital citizenship—preparing young people to participate in an increasingly dense landscape of technology and media developments—and building a community-based learning experience.

They are also re-focusing on measurement, embracing an approach that assesses much more than academic achievement. We’re now seeing more sophisticated adoption of analytics in education, mirroring the use of data in the commercial world. Used correctly, data can help educators understand students’ learning behaviours, which courses are being consumed, and where students are excelling or struggling.

The Essential Role of Technology

But delivering such fundamental pedagogical change is no easy feat. The need to deliver more with less means that technology is fast becoming essential in powering a new delivery method. Technologies like Canvas can help institutions change pedagogy and develop a flexible, progressive and student-centred approach which focuses on meeting these challenging demands.

Technology can crucially influence not just what we learn, but how we learn. Online learning systems create a self-directed and more independent learning environment, while allowing broader and deeper collaboration. Tech can help develop critical thinking skills and facilitate the application of knowledge, making education a much more practical and tangible experience.

And just as technology has become an important factor in improving teaching and learning, it could also be vital in allowing the education industry to collaboratively address its challenges by sharing approaches, content, ideas, knowledge and skills.

If you’re interested in hearing how institutions are “doing things differently” and you’re attending the The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA) conference in Auckland, 7-10 May 2017, come visit us at booth 7 & 8.

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