Turnaround on Education Traditions | Part I
Education needs a change. It’s been changing, but probably not enough. Why? There are, in STEM at least, more open jobs than postulations. Either the Economy is saying that working as an employee is bad, or the education methods and standards are way behind the real needs. Let’s just focus on the educational problem and forget -for a bit- about the economic trend of becoming an entrepreneur.
There are more than 500.000 computer science open jobs nationwide in the US. By 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase of that number to 1.4 million computer science available positions, and only 400.000 graduates within that area. Only in Florida, in 2015, the number was approximately 23.000 open jobs. There are not enough graduates per year to fulfill that demand. Innovation and evolution are stopped by this lack of talent, and the current educational approach is allowing this number to increase.
Experts and institutions blame the educational standard (the traditional method). Some others believe that technology and innovation are requiring more graduates and that public and private institutions are unable to fulfill that demand. We believe in the first idea, but not in the second one. It is clear that the traditional method is old-fashioned and unable to adapt. We need to transform the educational system.
Several articles and academic studies have shown, and still do, that the flipped classroom is more effective -facts based- than the traditional methods. There is still a long road to walk until results can become tangible and clear as to how flipped classrooms are the way education shall be performing during the next years. However, actions are needed now. It would be a lazy decision to keep waiting until final results are publicly known and then make the decision to change the model.
It’s easy: these generations need a change in the educational system. They are not engaged and they are not performing as well as they could. They need a more complete and effective method to become the professionals society needs.
It may look like the answer to traditional education is Online Education. And it has been an answer, of course, but not the appropriate one. Online Education shall not be considered as the solution to the insufficient outcome of traditional education.
Online Education is meant for those looking for specific, short and simple lectures. If someone relies on Online Education as an alternative to the traditional model, that person is probably looking at the wrong picture.
Education needs to be delivered with technology, not only complemented by it. It is not a tool or an additional resource; it is the way it should be addressed. Homework is no longer a nightmare, students are willing to study, to learn, to practice; they only need the appropriate method to follow that lead. We are building innovators, creators, problem solvers, and we cannot avoid the responsibility we have in our hands.
Flipped Classrooms are trendy and that’s a tricky perspective because trends are abandoned at some point. People get tired and the solution could become a problem in a few years. That is why Flipped Classrooms -per se- are not the sole answer. What the educational system requires is a pragmatic, evolutionary and effective method to become better and adapt to the reality.
It looks like we are just making a public statement: “We hate traditional education!”
Yes. That is actually right. But not a real hate, it’s more like when you actually know what is wrong and you just want to fix it; but it is so complicated that it becomes a super slow process. Addressing new methodologies to improve Education is a huge task, as you can imagine.
The focus, then, is on asking the right questions: Does this matter? Where can we make improvements? Is it really possible to make it better?
Our Answers: Yes | Coding | Yes.
First, we need more students. So, in order to bring them to School we must show them that education is a must. Not only because people/society say that (people no longer believe in social conventions as they did before), but also because learning (computer science or coding, at least) will allow them to create, to transform, to become something special, while getting paid by doing so.Then, we also need to train them… really. With an effective method, with an efficient approach, and through a process where they engage to accept and use knowledge.
For those who say that Education is not important, and support that theory, we bring up Steve Jobs background, we answer with the same example: “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer, because it teaches you how to think”. S.J.!
 Just to point out a few articles: http://edtechreview.in/data-statistics/2457-flipped-learning-classroom-statistics – https://www.learndash.com/interesting-flipped-classroom-statistics/ – http://www.asee.org/file_server/papers/attachment/file/0003/3259/6219.pdf – http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar13/vol70/num06/Evidence-on-Flipped-Classrooms-Is-Still-Coming-In.aspx