Disrupting K-12 Education

collaborative learning using technology

Today’s K-12 education model is fast becoming outdated and is ready for disruption. However, it shouldn’t be disruptive for the sake of disruption only. It needs to be about the learner and identifying the most effective way to deliver information and assess learning and knowledge gain.

Schools, like the corporate arena, are beginning to see the value of a blended approach in teaching students. Similar to a 70/20/10 approach in the workplace -- where 70% of learning is completed on-the-job, 20% is through coaching or mentoring and 10% is through formal training programs -- schools can provide opportunities for students to learn from peer interaction through group learning and team projects much like the 70% of learning on-the-job. This frees up time for personal coaching and tutoring from the teacher, with the remainder 10% coming from traditional teaching and learning.

Students today have access to the same search capabilities as adults and can and should use it to their advantage. This means we need to teach students to become super searchers so they know how to find the information they need and analyze it for their use. This will lead to self-reliant learners with the opportunity to ask questions or get clarification from the subject matter expert, the teacher.

Learning is no longer a one style fits all model. Now we have the ability with technology to customize or adapt learning to individual needs. Teachers need to become curators of content for each student and orchestrate who needs to learn what and when. Education is moving from textbooks and lectures to tablets and personalized learning. It is beginning to embrace forms of blended learning.

Offering students the opportunity to learn on their own and with their peers capitalizes on how kids interact and learn naturally (the same as adults). Most of us like to be in groups, to be social and to interact, which teaches lessons that can’t be found in lectures and books and prepares students for the workplace. Learning from each other, and supporting and building on team generated ideas drives collaboration which increases creativity and innovative outcomes.

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