At the core of education, is still a teacher at the front, a class listening, and the same one-size-fits-all approach. While technology is advancing faster than we can keep up, education has by large stood still.
Outside education we use many meaningful tools, such as the cloud to store our docs, slides to present ideas, and even videos to convey knowledge. However, when trying to retro-actively fit these into education without a scaffolded and guided process in place it can result in limited gains for students and teachers.
We don’t need a faster horse. We need new methods. It’s time to reimagine education. We believe in first-principled design and engineering. We want to rethink education: pedagogy first!
The good news is that some methods have already been pioneered. We now need to democratize these insights. Encode them into easy to adopt technology, and make it available for as many teachers and students across the world as possible.
To achieve the transition in education we envision, we see a very clear goal: building pedagogical collaboration between institutions and edtech companies. Great ideas arise at institutions, but they often fail to achieve global success due to lack of experience in productization. It is only through collaboration that we can accelerate the next pedagogical breakthroughs, and fast track their productization.
We aim to become the trusted partner for developing these ideas and a sharing platform that enables these ideas to achieve the spread they deserve.
"Education shouldn't be the memorization of facts, but training the mind to think."
It’s been 70 years since Bloom's Taxonomy was developed, but we’ve mostly still been stuck at the longer rungs, while today's job market expects us to reach the top!
Then it also becomes evident why students are complaining about the amount of content they have to memorize for the upcoming test, and why they placing less value in remembering facts and equations, especially when we have search engines.
But it’s not an easy task, all of us would like to offer students something more than just memorization exercises. However, unfortunately, memorization and procedural knowledge are those easiest to test for, and the go-to method for educators under time constraints.
Luckily, institutions have already recognized that we have to depart from this model, and adopting this intention is already progress.
In the 1980’s this urgency to rethink education was further globally ratified with the introduction of the 21st Century Skills framework. In our fast-paced economy where one wave of disruption ripples in the wake of the previous, careers and job markets are unpredictable. One thing remains certain: the demand for a univeral set of skills for innovation and adaptability.
Work is increasingly automated. Simple tasks are taken over by machines. When jobs become obsolete, we notice that especially lower level knowledge and hard-skills can quickly lose meaning in the job market. Innovation and soft skills remain uniquely meaningful. How do you lead, collaborate, and foster creativity?
This shift in focus from hard-to-soft skills adds an additional challenge on education, and often brings up the question: how do we reliably teach soft-skills?
You are giving a lecture, but you can sense that your students are distracted or uninterested. When you ask if they have any questions, the only questions (if any) that come up are concerned with the assessment. Then suddenly, days away from the exam, you begin to get flooded with emails regarding the content of the course?
This, we believe, has less to do with the teacher or the student, but more with the course design.
Engagement shouldn’t be limited to the exam only. When students are intrinsically motivated to engage, we consistently see much greater achievement in their learning outcomes. And in theory it is straight forward: motivation is key. It is the source where it starts; the power supply of learning.
Luckily, higher educational institutions are increasingly on board with this approach that the student’s learning experience is central to course design. But this is easier said than done. It involves redesigning all courses, while educators are already under ever increasing time constraints. However, it is possible. Instead of having to reinvent the wheel, we focus on making the breakthroughs scalable. We leverage technology to democratize the pedagogy that fosters students' intrinsic motivation and inspires them to become life-long learners.
Graduation should be only the beginning of each inidividuals learning journey rather than the celebration of the end it.
Learning activities can be spread through time to reveal the developmental full picture of students, rather than a single snapshot. In this way, teachers gain the needed insights into their students learning process, and students are incentivized to engage continuously, rather than just at the exam snapshot.
Populism, polarization, misinformation, conspiracies and anger. Political events in the media are turning pretty grim. More and more we’re being confrontated with a trend of truth-erosion. Democratic dysfunction increases as people are losing trust in the system at an alarming rate. Science has become just another opinion. At the heart of these lie a set of long neglected causes. Our own psychological biases and tribal tendencies are conspiring with amplifying technologies like social media. Granted, this combustible mixture of power and ignorance had been broiling for years, but recently this has started touching everyday life and became an urgent agenda for all of us.
It’s tempting to blame the other side, the companies, or the government. But at FeedbackFruits we believe the biggest cause is easily negelected: we all play a role in this! From how we share news on social media, to how we talk in politics, or which companies we support by voting with our wallet. For a sustainable fix, we must go back to the roots: how we form beliefs, spread information and make judgements. How we think.
Whether it’s science denial, political polarization or conspiracy thinking, we believe the solution is all the same: better education!
Not the kind only for philosophers, but a practical one. For everyday life in the information age. One that serves to nuance our perception, heal the divide, calm the raging social media landscape. We need to be able to restart the conversation with “the other side”. It’s time we start investing in a generation of critical, emphatic and honest thinkers, and education is the perfect place to do so.
We need leadership here, but current educational institutions are already severely burdened with the day-to-day practicalities of teaching. Too many exams still to check, too few teachers per student. Democracy cannot wait for that. We need progress. So here we intend to serve our part not only by innovating on the tech front, but also by taking a pedagogical stance. Can we pave the way for teachers by making learning activities that strengthen our democracies, yet design them to be as easy to adoption as possible? If we do this, hopefully education will follow in teaching this new kind of wisdom.