The future of education? It is already happening! | SIVECO Romania

The future of education? It is already happening!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How can teachers overcome the communication barriers between them and their students? How can they keep the children interest in books and school, in a world where information is present on all communication channels which young people have access to?

Florin Ilia, Vice–president, SIVECO Romania, talks about the digital lessons and the changing paradigm of learning.

What is the trend in modern education? Do you consider that Romania is aligned to these global trends on digital education process?

Worldwide, the forecast of analysts from Ambient Insight (USA) shows an increase of 23% for the eLearning market by 2017, compared with only 7% for traditional education. I think that these figures show, without any doubt, that, in the 21st century, the direction the education is being headed towards is the adoption of technology in the classroom. The future belongs to the use of hybrid curricula, combining classroom and online learning methods.

The benefits of the education digitization are reflected in the increasing quality of education, by reducing the costs and the time spent on adjacent activities (for example, the documentation).

Romania has made great efforts, with exceptional results, to implement information technology and communication in educational process. Between 2001 and 2009, was implemented SEI – the Information Educational System – which consisted of providing IT labs, educational software and training for teachers in all schools and colleges from the country.

After Romania joined the EU, the European funds have financed many useful projects which enabled the supply of technology and especially of training programs for supporting teachers in its use in the classroom. All these, in addition to other many initiatives, transform Romania in a very good foundation for technological innovation. 

Do you think digital lessons will be more successful in catching children's interest?

Children of the digital era are familiar with computer, tablet, and even mobile phone and interact with games and virtual stories from childhood. But as they grow up and enter the mass education system, they found that between reality and what they learn at school there is a huge gap.

I firmly believe that by adopting new technologies, school can approach children. We are not talking about science fiction projections, but real digital tools which can be a great support, complementary to the learning process. They already exist and are used in many Romanian schools. And here I would mention people from National College "Mihai Eminescu" from Satu Mare - teachers and students who are involved in intensive cross-disciplinary, project-based learning, based on new digital resources developed by us and improved by them. It is an example of best practice that can be adopted by any school. But it is very important for the teacher to be trained to use digital resources and to be convinced of the usefulness of interactive lessons! Also, the training should continue throughout life.

For over a decade, we provide the Romanian and international education system all the tools to accomplish this mission. Romania has the largest library of digital educational content in Europe, with over 3,700 multimedia lessons developed by SIVECO, with over 45,000 reusable learning objects for 21 disciplines. Reusable Learning Objects are developed to be included in lessons deployed on tablets, laptops, computers or phones, moving the focus from the teacher to the student. In other words, the future of education is already happening. 

There are talks that the technology will dehumanize school, pulling teachers out of the equation. Is this true?

For generations, the school offers the same classic model of education, based on memorizing knowledge relatively unchanged under the authority of the teacher who must be heard. Well, this model is rejected by the „digital” students today. School must adapt.

When the teacher writes on the blackboard, with his back turned to the students, he does not address his students. The interactive lessons frees him of this transcription routine, allow him to spend time interacting with students in class, facing them, discovering knowledge together. Thus, contrary to the fears of some, the technology does not dehumanize the teaching process, but rather gives the teacher more time with his students.

What happens to current generations should worry us. Students take advantage of the fact that the school has not yet adapted to their digital world and reject the model itself, with all its faults, and its qualities - rigor, focus, discipline, and work. Schools must do just that: to solve this communication problem and to find a method to transmit essential values ​​to new students in a way that they can understand. 

By 2017, analysts estimate that globally:

  • Globally the spending on education will increase by 7.4% by 2017
  • Expenses for eLearning grow by 23% per year up to $ 256 billion by 2017 as follows:
    • For classes I-XII with 34%
    • Superior education by 28%
    • For eTraining (Corporate) by 13% (source: Ambient Insight)

Source: Club IT&C