Technology and Innovation in Education
Updated: May 25, 2018
Written by: Stavros Sindakis, PhD, MCMI
Over the past twenty years, there is a growing debate about the role of education in equipping young people with the capacity to cope with an increasingly competitive, uncertain, and complex world involving higher rates of innovation and change. One vital skill individuals need to develop is the capacity to ‘enterprise,’ by which I refer to a range of skills and knowledge such as industrial awareness, business management, new venture creation and development of interpersonal skills.
In other words, increasing awareness of entrepreneurship as a distinct educational challenge needs to be addressed. In the educational context, the behaviors that are associated with entrepreneurship are important. In trying to respond to the question of entrepreneurship as a predisposed set of skills by virtue of genetics, or a learning process to be mastered, we may say that knowledge is a contextual element and thus entrepreneurial behavior can be encouraged within an educational setting. For instance, it can be developed within the context of standard curriculum subjects, such a language and literature, math, geography, science and so on. It can also be addressed within a business education context, for example, via a task of creating a new venture where the knowledge base will be substantially related to the process of venture start-up and the associative tasks and learning requirements.
Consequently, technological learning is a critical component of every entrepreneurial activity nowadays, leading to economic growth, innovation, and employment. Learning is at the center of the business practice because it generates both tacit and explicit knowledge as well as enhances the acquisition of soft skills, processes, and cultures that are essential to improve the performance of new ventures. Additionally, the entrepreneurial education model considers not only the contents of entrepreneurial education program but also the context where such program is implemented by the facilitator as well as the approaches used. Motivations, expectations, and effectiveness of educational design, content, and context matter for both the deliverers and funders as well as the recipients of the education.
In this perspective, the creative and fruitful exchanges between students, teachers, policymakers, and society are valuable, aiming at investigating the ways and different approaches by which technology and innovation can benefit education and entrepreneurship in this competitive environment. The means that technology and new teaching and learning approaches influence the field of education may also be useful topics for discussion and progress. In particular, interesting arguments can be within the context of: different teaching approaches and role of innovation in education, entrepreneurial pedagogy and innovation in teaching, creativity, and dynamics of collaboration among students and teachers in higher education as well as technological learning and educational reforms that take place in the last ten years.
Stimulating can be the different approaches of participants to the open educational resources, platforms and the differences between education and training and the role of technology in this evolution. Moreover, the different levels of students’ knowledge along with the student-teacher experience and expertise as determinants of efficacy and the role of technology as a mediating/moderating factor can be taken into consideration in the fruitful discussions among participants. I also find remarkable and attractive the deliberations and different approaches to in-class vs. on-line vs. hybrid (in-person and online) training. In particular, the group shared activities may provide outstanding reflection areas linked to challenges in distance learning, setting a creative discussion ground on how to address them better. I believe courses that integrate such approaches, methods, and tools may act as excellent illustrations, providing efficient ways to familiarize participants with potential difficulties that students may face as they progress along the way. In this process, the help and advice that one can get from more experienced peers is an undeniable asset to support learners successfully.
Overall, I see such courses and training sessions as excellent opportunities for students to advance the learning experience through the interactions and the different viewpoints that are shared among contributors. This demonstrates the importance of cooperative learning, shall it be virtually or in the physical classroom, in the training and learning process. This is the reason I usually incorporate cooperative learning techniques into the class sessions. These techniques typically involve working in pairs or groups of three on a short problem, with specific instructions on how to share ideas and come up with a universal solution. This can be done through the online environment as well. In class settings, while the groups are working, I can move around the classroom to help various groups, and at the end, we compare and discuss the various groups' solutions. Online, I follow up through discussions and feedback to the different groups’ proposals. Therefore, apart from a training activity, online courses provide a virtual space for mind challenging and original thinking for participants.
Source: http://blog.connectionsacademy.com/the-expansion-of-online-learning/ (last accessed on 04/27/2018)
About the Author: Stavros Sindakis, Ph.D., MCMI