For a couple of years, with the pandemic we have had to adapt and innovate at a speed that was not expected. What was done was to bring all the trends that were expected in the medium term, to an immediate reality in record time. This brought new challenges for education, for example, the need to make its structures more flexible.
pearson and the British Embassy in Mexico they organized the meeting Trends in Higher Education for the future of employability in Latin America What does the university experience hold for students? How has the scenario changed for teachers and institutions? What role does technology play? These were some of the questions that specialists reflected on.
“In it World Economic Forum this year there was talk of maintaining the best of all these changes, the universities achieved a lot, when a large part of the world was closed, these institutions were the ones that intensified their task the most, from research to transferring learning to what was needed in that moment, but now what, where should we continue? Angelica Lopezmoderator and part of the Pearson team.
He said that some of the clearest trends is flexibility, “this one that students are already taking for granted, that they do not even consider it as an adoption but rather that it is something important that should be there.”
He put on the table the need for the quality of education in hybrid modalities to be maintained, for it to be an attractive but formative education, which also helps us to cover the strong need for continuous learning, where the university degree is not enough, because Skills are required that must be validated, “that allows creating a personal brand for professional life”.
Technology as a means and not an end
Julieta Lopez Olalde, an expert in communicative education and a specialist in curriculum design, assured that she talks a lot about ICT in education, but this is not recent. “For decades there has been talk of the need, but a point of a major revolution has been reached, because you no longer have to learn to use this technology but to redesign with the technology included.”
He said that what teachers used to do was use ICT as a parallel or mirror tool to normal technology, for example an assignment was requested in PDF, but that is not using them. “At this time, teachers at all levels have to understand in sufficient depth what cognitive processes take place, how the mental structure of a young person works to understand how technologies can enter and create truly significant knowledge. This changed radically in the pandemic.”
He adds that the pandemic also confirmed the need to develop soft skills, “today 80% of recruiters prefer to hire someone with these skills more developed than the hard ones. By gaining so much importance, teachers have the challenge of developing them for the academic life of their students, promoting sustained attention, collaborative work, leading projects, among others”.
The role of the teacher is transformed, it is a fundamental piece
Jorge Luis Iniguezdirector of innovation and product strategy for Pearson Latam, made the following statement. “At some point the relevance of technology in education was questioned and opinions were divided. But the role that technology is taking today in education is undoubtedly a leading role; it allows institutions to optimize their teaching and learning processes, making them more efficient”.
However, he said that it is important to point out that technology must have meaning, a clear purpose, “it is very delicate to leave the responsibility to technology, which alone produces learning results. Technology does not replace the work of the teacher.
According to the specialist, today there is already a wide offer on the market, many platforms that aim to develop transferable skills and that even have some certifications, even so, he recognizes that this spectrum still has some deficiencies, that from his point of view view is because they are proposals that are not considering teachers.
“They intend to displace them and that will in no way be a positive thing. Virtual environments are very powerful but with good guidance. Empathy, the teacher’s instinct and human interaction remain essential. It is urgent to resignify the work of the teacher, education without them is destined to fail”.
Iñiguez added that there is a very important challenge: Achieving equal access to technology. “The World Bank issued a report indicating that in the world there are 3,000 million people without internet access, 96% of them are people who live in developing countries, like ours.”
He said that if this does not change, inequalities in the educational field will be dragged on and will be transferred to the workplace, with strong lags in the development, not only of digital skills, but of many others that could have been developed. using digital tools. Here governments play an essential role.
Specialists conclude that the educational challenge and its transformation is so great that it requires the collaboration of all parties, teachers, institutions, students, parents, government and the society involved in general, to generate sustainable and inclusive models of hand in hand with technology, but with the clear and determined guidance of human resources.