10-01, 18:00–18:40 (Europe/Berlin), birne
Teachers used to dread grading exam scripts. Now they dread semi-literate YouTube Influencers. Abundant multimedia knowledge resources have created a generation of distracted learners who lack skills to retain, reflect and apply this knowledge. The ‘Espresso-shots’ of information available via digital media discourage deep reading, reflective writing and other core tools of the learning process.
I propose the use of Immersive, multisensory pedagogy techniques to combat emerging challenges of education in the digital age.
Gen Z’s profound dependence on digital solutions—from food delivery apps to maps has done one disservice to their education—it has reduced their cognitive ability to think critically as problem-solvers. As faculty to undergraduate students, I see this problem exacerbated with students’ reluctance to read long-form text, reflect, and write with their original voice. This is further seen in their lack of confidence in their own problem-solving skills.
The ample availability of ‘text spinning software,’ and professional academic essay writers does not help either. As a teacher, I struggle to compete with the trust they place in popular (but semiliterate) social media influencers, as the latter focuses more on selling skills than actual knowledge.
Does this mean we are headed to a future of ignorance, or that teachers will have to become more like influencers? Neither.
I propose a format in which the responsibility of learning is transferred back to students. Instead of focusing on new ways of imparting KNOWLEDGE, teachers must develop more creative TESTING techniques. E.g. Assignments based on novel, hypothetical experiences unavailable on the internet. They’ll need to engage not just verbal and quantitative, but physical and spatial intelligence in the kinds of questions they pose, the case studies they develop, and how customized the learning plans are for each student. The idea is to use digitization as an aid towards slowing down things for students, and de-tox them from instant gratification in the learning process.
Nayyara Rahman is an award-winning author and researcher passionate about enabling business ethics, transparency and social justice through better technology, process redesign and youth mobilization.