What Does the Future Ready Teacher Look Like?
You might be tempted to dismiss the idea of the “future ready teacher” as just the latest bit of shallow jargon or the newest passing fad in education, but before you do, dig a little deeper into the movement and you’ll find a wealth of resources designed to help education stake holders increase the opportunities for digital learning for all students.
One of the key planks of the future ready movement is an emphasis on increased opportunities for blended learning. For the uninitiated, blended learning refers to the act of combining traditional educational approaches with digital tools for instruction. While one might initially think that an all-high-tech approach would have the most appeal, it is important to know the limits of technology as well as its benefits. In fact, some research has shown that high-tech learning does not always deliver on its promise of improving student outcomes.
So the wise teacher will not just automatically opt for the high-tech solution but rather will carefully assess instructional methods in order to select the best ones—whether that be the latest edtech or a good, old-fashioned paper-and-pencil exercise. So, the future ready teacher is one who incorporates edtech only where it has been shown to improve student learning.
Another key aspect of future ready teaching is a focus on personalized instruction. One size certainly does not fit all, and teaching to the “average” student can often mean teaching that meets the needs of literally no one, since no student is perfectly average. Personalization allows the student to maximize their use of instructional time.
Of course, it can be hard to fathom the amount of work required to personalize learning without ample tech tools; fortunately, teachers can today harness a wide variety of edtech tools to assess, track, and instruct students. They can perform finely-grained data analysis in order to target precisely which skills require more practice for each individual student. And, they can deliver that instruction at a one-to-one level where edtech tools are available.
Tools such as online videos make it possible for students to pause, re-view, and seek more information from a presentation—things that would obviously be impossible during a live lecture. So instructional videos micro-targeted to develop specific skills are just one of many tools that teachers can use to personalize learning. The future ready teacher is a teacher who is able to harness the power of technology in order to deliver targeted one-on-one instruction to all students, at precisely the pace at which the student moves best.