Technology has already changed every aspect of life and it seems like the education system around the world is sue for an update. Teaching or educating the young is something that we inherently do; helping them understand the world, make better choices and pass the knowledge on to the next generation.
Though education is an instinctive drive does not mean that we can not improve upon it. As technology has developed many educators have inevitably used those developments to the betterment of education and will continue to do so.
Digitalized classrooms, a focus on skill-based education, including technology into curriculum, online classes and evolution of e-learning platforms are the results of how education has changed. As a result of it, students too are being prepared for the future, they are encouraged to use internet, own their own learning and find solutions. The 21st century learning is very different and never before could learning be happening it is happening now; educational platforms are everywhere, all the time, on every possible topic and an educational system that supports any possible learning style or preference.
So, when organizations, students and the educational system is reforming, why not teachers? When every information or knowledge that a students needs to know is available in the open (on the internet) and all these topics can be self taught why do we need teachers or what does it mean to be a 21st century teacher?
Teachers today are pictured as mentors someone who can guide students when they are in doubt while encouraging them to own their own learning. It means a modern day teacher should be able to transform a smart classroom or a conventional classroom into a learner-centered and personalized classroom. Gone are the days when the role of a teacher was to stand in the front and recite a pre-planned lesson plan. Today, students want to addressed personally, their choices and topics of interest have become more vocal and hence expect teachers to have interest or knowledge about the same topic.
Another point to be remembered here is that students today are not only aware of modern technologies and the smart device, but they also own and know how to use them. These devices can help them produce video-blogs, infographics, and may other such interesting and immersive things. Though students are now viewed as digital natives, many are far from producing any digital content as they are still asked to turn those devices off and work with worksheets and do homework.Sadly, these papers are often thrown away once graded. Instead of that, if given a chance students will be able to produce beautiful and creative blogs, movies, or digital stories that they feel proud of and can share it with others.
This leads us to our next point which is that in order to give students the aforesaid choices; teachers should have own-hand experience and knowledge. Learning a new tool or a new device will only help teachers to interact and engage with students more and the reason for this is that developing technologies are equally broadening the mindset of students.
This sheds light on the fact that teaching is not a personality contest that has to be won. Being an effective teacher in the 21st century is not about being charismatic and humorous but having traits like self-awareness and interactions with students. Teaching today, requires an awareness of all of the factors at play in that particular moment, take advantage of opportunities and anticipate and address challenges. And the awareness here means; awareness of the teaching process, , awareness of the interaction, awareness of the learner, awareness of the context and lastly awareness of the self as a teacher.
Realistically assessing their own talents, their role in a student’s life and reflecting their talents (hidden until now) and self-improving or learning will help teachers cultivate an environment wherein education is more transparent and is both teacher and student focused.
Acknowledging such teachers who are adopting novel teaching techniques and adapting themselves to offer better personalized learning experience, we were compelled us to derive edition titled, ‘The 10 Best Schools in Taiwan.’ Herein, we were privileged to meet few schools backed by exceptional teacherswho cultivate a learner-centered environment while meeting the present day requirements.