An innovative learning environment is one that is able to evolve and adapt as educational practices flux and change – hence remaining focused on the future. It supports teaching on the basis of strength and learning and offers both students and teachers agency, ubiquity, connectedness, and flexibility. A learning environment where learning and teaching are collaborative, reflections and inquiries are promoted, and communities are engaged, leads to a continuously improving community of robust practice. So now that you got an idea about what an innovative learning environment is, how would you implement it? How would you create an innovative learning environment?
How Would You Create an Innovative Learning Environment
The education people receive in schools is an organized and formal way of educating the masses. A fixed syllabus for the academic year as well as exams to test the students and qualify them for the next education - this is how traditional schooling works. However, as technology evolves and newer more effective ways of education are being implemented all over the world, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is room for innovation in education. So without further ado, let us try to answer the question - how would you create an innovative learning environment?
Students learn a lot when asked to do projects and activities on the basis of their syllabus in comparison to when they are taught from a textbook. This helps boost the aptitude of the students, competitive spirit among the students, time management, their passion for learning, etc.
Greater Focus on Practical Studies
In the case of the sciences, IT fields, computer science, etc. giving students a mere theory-based knowledge system is not enough for the overall understanding of core concepts, enhancing their problem-solving skills, developing a scientific approach among students, etc.
Every child has some kind of special talent that may or may not be related to academics. Some students might not be able to find that talent earlier. The idea is to create equal opportunities for all students to be able to pursue their interests. If schools, colleges, and universities offer all options of different types of courses open to students, they will be able to pursue their individual interests with ease.
Encouraging students to take part in group discussions, public speaking activities, and debates is a great way for boosting the confidence of students as well as communication skills.
Play-Based Learning for Primary Sections
Introduction to concepts such as alphabets, basic numeracy, etc., and reading and writing at an early age are absolutely vital for strong comprehensive learning among students below the age of six years. Burdening students with assignments and homework is not going to help in this situation. Play-based learning is a very effective method of learning that must be pushed in both private as well as government educational institutions.
Use of Graphics
The use of graphics, infographics, and images in textbooks instead of plain text will help make learning much easier and more interesting. The use of diagrams, graphs, charts, and other such data-based information sources helps make memorizing and understanding the concepts simple.
Use of Technology
Technology can be used in several aspects of education - from encouraging online learning to the use of Artificial Intelligence for assessing the development of the students. All these things have been proven to be useful. Computer-based and internet-based user-friendly technology can be used for video learning, competitions, quizzes, distance learning, as well as the purposes of teaching.
One of the upcoming spinoff advantages of the various technologies used within the realm of education in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) is the concept of virtual labs. Virtual labs are computer programs that make use of technology for simulating experiments or models within computers by making use of suitable software programs. Students quill be able to do experiments without actually using any of the raw materials which is highly beneficial for students who are unable to access laboratory facilities. Virtual labs are an upcoming field and are increasingly gaining wide recognition in schools and universities.
A classroom should not be seen as just a group of students, but rather as a closed community of students, and the teacher is present for the noble cause of educating them. When looking at it from that perspective, team-based learning can be quite effective. Since learning is the common goal of the students, students helping each other and cooperating while also being a part of teams improves the soft skills of students such as leadership, teamwork, etc.
Research is The Key
For students who are in high school, UG, or PG, report and thesis formulation, hard-core research, and research-based learning in general are the ways to involve the mature and advanced students for their all-round development. It is research that paves the way to answer several unanswered questions, efficient problem-solving in society, problems, new innovations, and such purposes.
If innovations are to be brought about in the learning environment, there also needs to be a change in the basic mindset of society. Reducing disparity in the girl-boy ratio in schools, the inclusion of students of all races, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, and sexualities approaching education scientifically, and above all, achieving the objectives of education for enlightening minds should be the main goal. At the end of the day, the focus should be on creating a better environment for learning.