2021 was a tough year for teachers and students, to say the least. Coming back to in-person learning and navigating the increased demands of learning loss and social emotional needs has taken its toll on everyone. 2021 has also brought major developments and an ongoing global pandemic that have changed the way we think about work and life.
These can provide some interesting insights for education going into 2022, where we need to acknowledge the challenges we still face, but also look for ways to infuse more joy and authenticity into learning.
1. Entering the Metaverse
One thing we’ve been hearing a lot about recently is the metaverse, the idea of an interconnected set of immersive digital environments where people can socialize, work, and learn. While the concept of the metaverse usually conjures up images of virtual reality and wearable technology, it can also include experiences accessible today like social media and online games.
What does this have to do with education? Students today are growing up online, or even in the metaverse in whatever form it exists so far. If schools don’t embrace that technology and way of life, they run the risk of invalidating the world in which students live–and losing students along the way. Instead, we need to meet students where they are, showing them that we value where they spend their time. What does this look like in practice? Edtech doesn’t need to primarily function as a content delivery method, as many learning management systems and cognitive tutors do. It could take the form of esports leagues where students build core skills, or tools for learning about and creating with AI. Letting students choose the technologies and apps they use to learn shows that we trust them and empowers them to be lifelong learners.
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