By Dr Tim Kitchen, Senior Education Advocate APAC
The 10th annual Adobe Education Leadership Forum was held this March amidst the tropical beauty of Bali, Indonesia. The forum brought together more than 107 education leaders from 10 countries across Asia Pacific to discuss upcoming trends in education, emerging technologies, and the need to foster creativity in the classroom.
One of the themes to emerge from this year’s conference was the need to address the rise of a digital world powered by mobile technology and how classroom learning will change as a result. Millennials have a very different approach to learning and educators need to adapt their teaching styles to continue engaging this new breed of students. At the same time, the digitization of content means that educational institutions also need to change their strategies for engaging and attracting the best and brightest students.
During the conference Adobe launched the results of its study, ‘Transforming Education with Mobile and Digital Technology’, which surveyed more than 1,000 educators from 13 countries across Asia Pacific. The study aimed to gauge the state of mobile technology adoption in the classroom and the importance of mobility and digital tools in education.
Surprisingly, the study found that far from being reluctant to admit mobile devices to classrooms, educators strongly believe that their proliferation is already having a positive impact, and influencing for the better the way instruction is delivered to students. While traditionalists may claim that mobile devices in the classroom can be a distraction, they are now in the minority with 77% of survey respondents felt that there was a positive overall net effect to having mobile devices strategically integrated into the teaching process.
The study highlighted specific barriers to the proliferation of mobile technology in educational institutions. Across Asia Pacific, educators felt that budget allocation (39%) and issues with integration of mobility with existing infrastructure (27%) were the top two crucial areas to overcome for faster adoption of mobile technology in academic institutions.
At the end of the two-day event, educators concluded that what was most vital was not focusing on teaching techniques or strategies, but instead ensuring the student learning experience was enhanced to capture the attention and imaginations of a new generation of students who have grown up naturally surrounded by digital technology and mobile devices. To them, swiping on a screen comes as a natural first response and educators felt that they need to better understand this shift in behavior in order to evolve their teaching curricula down the line. One often-repeated line at the conference was keynote speaker Dan Haesler’s urging to ensure students were “in task vs. on task”- in other words, making sure that students were fully immersed in their learning experience as opposed to ticking off checkboxes on a list of things that need to be done.
Watch recorded sessions from the Education Forum – http://new.livestream.com/WilkarProductions/AdobeEducationForum15
Here’s a 60 second video summary of the forum – https://vimeo.com/123374861
You can reach out to @timkitchen on Twitter
Technology is changing the way we teach and the classroom is no longer defined by paper, pencils and chalkboards. Thanks to technology, traditional ways of learning are evolving toward a more creative platform. In fact, educators and students alike are redefining the way they share and gain knowledge.
Last month, we had the pleasure of hosting 125 delegates from 12 countries across Asia Pacific at the Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013. Many education leaders and institutions such as Strathcona Baptist Girls’ Grammar School in Australia, Institute of Technical Education in Singapore, Learning Links Foundation in India and Korea Education Research Information Service, came together to share their experiences and discuss changes they see in education today.
Trevor Bailey, director of worldwide education at Adobe, addressed the importance of fostering creativity, highlighting that it should no longer be an elective in the classroom – it is the future. He also shared how technology enables teachers and students to tap into new streams of learning.
Bruce Dixon, co-founder of Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation and the founding director at ideasLAB Australia took the stage as well, stressing that educators shouldn’t underestimate the power of technology as it can help students through their learning journey. In fact, contemporary pedagogical insight comes from a better understanding of the realities of the modern learner’s world and how they gain knowledge. More specifically, today’s modern learner can be looked at in three different ways:
- The Social Learner, who moves from ‘me’ to ‘we’
- The Self-Directed Learner, who moves from dependency to autonomy
- The Inquiry-Based Learner, who moves from the known into the unknown
Today, technology caters to the different learning styles, providing educators with a great opportunity to not only embrace the new tools but to continue the evolution of the way we teach and learn. By incorporating technology and creativity into the classroom we are teaching our modern learners in a language that is native to them. This is what they are used to and the best way to prepare them for future success!
Check out more photos from Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2013 here: