The Future of Education

The global health crisis caused by Covid-19 will be remembered and will mark a milestone in history, mainly due to the unfortunate loss of human life and the repercussions that this crisis has had on all the activities of our lives.

One of the most affected areas has been Education in all its spheres, since since the beginning of the year 2020, overnight, almost without time or planning, emergency remote teaching had to be implemented, suddenly moving face-to-face courses to a non-face-to-face format required a great effort from everyone, mainly from the teachers who were forced in real time to give an emergency response without space to elaborate redesigns of the courses that from their conception were designed to be taught face-to-face, in the same way There was a lot of time to train teachers, most of whom had been trained in the previous century without much knowledge in the use of technological means, in digital skills and in methodologies of the teaching-learning process for the virtual modality, urgent and immediate action. At that time, it did not allow the necessary analyzes to guarantee the quality of teaching.

In our country, the Covid-19 pandemic laid bare our reality in aspects such as the existence of wide digital gaps, inequity in terms of access to technology, the very quality of digitization, the need to provide support and training to teachers, the need to implement better assessments of learning outcomes and, of course, the quality of education in general.

Similarly, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of advancing technology as a means to implement new strategies, new teaching methods and to rethink the Education of the Future.

Precisely in this direction, Asael Villanueva of the Institute for the Future of Education of the observatory of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, presents in one of his publications, the relevant aspects of the eighth edition of the International Congress of Educational Innovation CIIE 2021, an event that took place in held at the end of the previous year, with the participation of around 5,000 people from 34 countries. Due to its relevance as a feedback instrument in the Future of Education, we allow ourselves to transcribe Mr. Villanueva’s publication in which he refers to and highlights the participation in said event of the Rector of TEC de Monterrey, Mr. David Garza Salazar:

“Mr. Garza points out that the education of the future will be multimodal, so there will be face-to-face models with remote, asynchronous classes, with small or large groups. Likewise, it indicates that there will be different ways of learning or a multi-experiential education, with learning experiences inside and outside the classroom. “We must not only recognize and accredit what happens inside the classroom, but also what happens outside the classroom in different settings,” he said.

Diverse skills, interaction with different cultures, continuous learning at various stages of life and learning from multiple institutions are some other aspects that the president shared during his keynote address.

These are the aspects that the president of the TEC listed from the university to multidiversity:

  • Multidisciplinary: Not just a specialization but various skills.
  • Multicultural: Interactions with different cultures.
  • Multimodal: The experience can be face-to-face, hybrid, remote, synchronous or asynchronous.
  • Multidimensional: Training in intellectual, emotional, occupational, physical, social and spiritual dimensions.
  • Multi-institutional: Student at an institution or student associated with multiple institutions.
  • Multi-experiential: You learn in experiences with real environments and not just in the classroom.
  • Multistage: Continuous learning at different stages of life.
  • Multi-organization: Activities delegated and/or in collaboration with other organizations.

Education and its transformation from technology

David Garza also highlighted the use of technology within educational innovation and its applications, from immersive experiences such as virtual reality to the creation and use of metaverses or technologies such as blockchain. “We must recognize that educational innovation not only depends on technologies, but also on pedagogies and other aspects. However, I would like to address it because we are just seeing the tip of the iceberg,” Garza said.

During the conference, he took a look at the technologies that Tec de Monterrey is already using in its classes. For example, the use of holographic projections of professors who teach remotely and interact on various campuses in real time. Also the use of virtual spaces such as metaverses, in which the Tec ventured with a project called Tec Virtual Campus.

In this space, the Tec’s students, professors and training partners can create an avatar and enter from wherever they are to interact, have classes, conferences and work on projects on a campus created virtually. Other technologies such as the use of Artificial Intelligence to detect emotions in real time in students in remote classes or in the development of a specific personalized route for the student.

Web3, an important trend and key to the creator economy

Similarly, Garza indicated that Web3, where content creators have their own platforms and do not depend on intermediaries, is an opportunity to develop educational innovation projects. The rector of the Tec said that Web1 refers to the publication of catalog-type content, while Web2 is where users generate content that is published on platforms. “The main characteristic of Web3 is the decentralization of the Internet and the economy of creators arises in an important way, because there are no longer intermediaries in certain processes. What is being talked about Web3 is similar to what was talked about in (year) 93 , 94, when the Internet was beginning to emerge. We have to pay a lot of attention to this because it can be a very disruptive change.”

Garza said that the base platform of Web3 is the blockchain, which has begun to impact the areas of finance, legal documents, art, music, entertainment and digital environments, mainly. “I am not here to present you with solutions, I am here to present you with an environment of challenges and in the education sector I would like us to see it as opportunities. It would be very good if we were thinking about our role in this environment and context,” Garza assured. (one)

The reflections previously exposed by the Rector of the TEC de Monterrey should certainly call us to reflection and rethink the future of Education in Costa Rica, in particular Higher University Education, also adding the enormous challenge that Universities face today of adapting careers to development and to increase the number of graduates in STEM in English (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), without neglecting the commitment to quality assurance, which will be one of the main aspects that will undoubtedly make a difference in the Future Education.

(1) Posted by Asael Villanueva of the Institute for the Future of Education of the observatory of the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico December 2021

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