The Future of Education Is Here
The role of technology in education has changed. Technology no longer fills a supplemental role, but instead is an integral component. The events of recent years have accelerated the use and integration of technology into all aspects of education, from how the curriculum is taught to the modes by which students learn and connect.
Additionally, advancements in technology have dramatically shifted the modern workplace and job landscape. Now amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution—which converges digital and physical systems while increasing human-machine interaction—virtually every career will be impacted by technology and require new skill sets. Students will need to develop the mindsets and skill sets needed to succeed in their future careers and to become the next generation of innovators.
As education policy makers, technical decision-makers, and educators look to future-proof schools, technology should be at the center of every discussion.
Challenges and Opportunities
The pandemic brought to the forefront the need for a more resilient and adaptable education system that can respond to any change or disruption—be it a health-related event, natural disaster, or other barrier preventing students from physically occupying their school’s campus—while ensuring continuity in learning.
It raised awareness of gaps in equitable access and widening of the digital divide,1 the impacts of loss of social interaction on the emotional well-being of every person,2,3 and the challenges of supporting a fully remote and then hybrid learning model.
But it also provided examples of possible paths forward. Educators adopted new teaching approaches and adapted curricula. School districts found ways to deploy devices to students, leverage existing infrastructure to the best of their ability, and address student needs in any way possible.
Those who were most successful came from districts that had already started planning for a technology-centric future, investing in professional development on how to integrate and use technology effectively and in devices and education technology for schools and classrooms.4
Teaching Strategies for a Hybrid Learning Environment
There are multiple teaching strategies and programs that make teaching and learning with technology possible. Each, including those listed here and others, increase student engagement and build the skills and mindsets needed for careers of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Active learning is a teaching methodology that encourages students to participate directly and learn by “doing,” rather than through a traditional lecture format. Students interact with collaborative, hands-on lessons that help them stay engaged, even while learning remotely. In active learning, most lessons are designed to use technology in some form, which also makes learning remotely possible. Intel programs like Intel® AI for Youth and Intel® Future Skills use active learning to help students build confidence in their AI skills, experience employability training, and learn with hands-on innovative experiences.
Esports, an increasingly popular extracurricular activity, is an example of one of many active learning games that can teach students social-emotional skills such as leadership, teamwork, strategic thinking, and resilience—all while they develop technical and computing skills. As with other extracurriculars, teachers usually see an improvement in students’ grades, attendance, aspiration for higher education, and self-esteem. Esports has also been able to establish more equitable game play with its participants, allowing teams with students of different genders, ages, and able-bodiedness.
The Flipped Classroom
The flipped classroom is a pedagogical approach that aims to have students complete class work at home and participate in hands-on activities in the classroom. This not only increases student engagement, but it pushes students to attain higher levels of cognitive function. The flipped classroom not only enables an active learning environment, but also promotes student-led learning and prepares students for the future by having them learn through and about technology. Before flipping an entire classroom, educators can start by flipping a lesson, implement a single day of the week (“flipped Fridays”), or start by flipping one unit. No matter which approach teachers choose, a flipped classroom curriculum is developed to include lessons for inside or outside the classroom.
Intel® Skills for Innovation
The Intel® Skills for Innovation (Intel® SFI) Initiative was developed to help educators and decision-makers more easily and effectively integrate technology into their curriculum and learning environments in order to facilitate future skill building.
Designed to prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution workforce, with Intel® SFI educators can help students build specialized skill sets and mindsets that give them both a better understanding of technology and the ability to apply their newfound knowledge and softer skills to the world around them.
The Intel® SFI Framework guides educators, administrators, and other decision-makers as they create innovative, engaging learning experiences for students. It aims to inspire teachers to understand how technology shapes and changes the classroom for a technology-supported learning environment. The Intel® SFI Starter Pack includes a comprehensive educator’s guide, teaching deck, and library of over 70 technology-infused, project-based activities, covering 140 hours of class time.
Technology for a Hybrid Learning Environment
Having technology in place to support teaching and learning in today’s new hybrid learning environment is critical to creating an adaptable, future-proofed learning system.
If implemented well, technology can give educators peace of mind whenever any disruption or change in circumstances occurs, as students and teachers can shift to the learning mode that best fits the situation and learning need.
Technology for Schools
Collaborative classroom technologies, such as interactive whiteboards or the Intel Unite® solution, facilitate teacher-student and student-student interaction, regardless of each individual’s physical location, and promote engagement.
With interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs), an alternate name for an interactive whiteboard, teachers can create engaging lessons for students learning from home and in class at the same time. If students are equipped with their own devices, IFPDs can enable them to collaborate on homework, projects, and other class activities. Teachers can also record sessions for later use, helping students recall lessons for further study.
And with solutions like Intel Unite®, a streamlined, wireless collaboration tool, teachers and students can securely stream and share content, work, and ideas from wherever they are, in the classroom or elsewhere.
Technology for Students and Teachers
For students and teachers to be successful, they need devices that can meet their usage and performance needs. When considering devices for students in a more-resilient, hybrid learning environment, having a portable take-home device that fits their academic needs is important. Whether a desktop, laptop, 2-in-1, detachable, or Chromebook, student devices should be selected to provide the performance and capabilities needed for the educational activities for their age and grade level.
Educators must also be equipped with devices that meet their teaching needs. Stable, security-enabled, well-performing devices, such as those using the Intel vPro® platform, give teachers more time with students by reducing interruptions and delays.
For IT staff, ensuring students and teachers have reliable devices that meet their current and future needs also adds value. For example, devices powered by Intel vPro® Enterprise include tools for remote management, reducing time spent on routine maintenance and troubleshooting. And devices powered by Intel® processors provide an added layer of hardware-based security features that help protect device users from evolving and modern security threats.
Connectivity and Access
Connectivity is critical to student success, especially for hybrid and remote learning. If a student can’t connect to the internet, they are at a serious disadvantage; it won’t matter if their device has great performance, portability, and ruggedness if they can’t connect and remote into class. For some families, internet access can be a costly option or not an option at all.
Striving for equal access to education, schools are looking to provide PCs with onboard LTE or hotspots to students most impacted by limited connectivity.
Toward the effort to provide equitable access, Intel continues to invest in education success through initiatives such as the Creating Learning Connections Initiative focused on providing underserved students and educators with access to critical tools and resources and through future-focused work with educators and administrators worldwide on innovative solutions and initiatives to make high-quality teaching and learning easier and accessible for teachers and students in every community.
Technology Is Critical for the Future of Education
While the role of technology in education continues to evolve, it is now a critical element to both establishing a more agile, future-ready educational system and for helping students develop the skills they will need to be successful in their future careers.
Proactively planning for a more integrated technology-approach to education will help prepare schools, teachers, and students for whatever the future brings.