Teaching: what lockdown has taught us
Published on 06/15/2022
How could we teach and learn better? That is the central issue in any innovation in education, whether digital or not. And one to which the pandemic has provided some answers.
What has seemed to us the most natural and effective thing in the world for centuries – being all together in the same room – has proved to be really precious. There is in fact nothing like being in a class to create emotion. And that’s not just an abstract concept when it comes to learning, understanding, memorising, revealing your personality or expressing your creativity. It lies at the heart of the teacher-student relationship, providing the most fertile ground for developing behavioural skills.
These tools had long been embryonic but now underwent rapid implementation in Higher Education. Distance learning, whether synchronous (everyone logging on at the same time) or asynchronous (each person following the course at their own pace) offers a vast range of innovative tools. Some of these will no doubt remain merely gimmicks. Others are clearly pointing the way to new fields of education.
Why? Because these tools enhance the experience of this generation of students bearing so many names (Z, Netflix, pop-corn, etc.) which, deep down, all mean the same thing: when the subjects are sparking and the formats all come together, these young people respond with maximum engagement. So now researchers are working on everything that could improve links between the triple focus of ‘knowledge, teaching and learning’, whether by virtual reality, artificial intelligence or other means.
The term EdTech (Educational Technologies) covers a very varied range of tools and services. “Any technology you decide to use for educational purposes can be called EdTech,” says Gérard Giraudon, from Inria. Some are aimed exclusively at the teacher, others at the student. They may be to do with teaching content, with guidance and counselling, or many other things. The EdTech market has seen a surge since the start of the pandemic. Its annual turnover in France reached over a billion euros in 2021 and over half (54%) of its companies are less than five years old. Source: EY-Parthenon/EdTech France/Banque des territoires study, 2022