It’ll take a global effort to create any lasting or substantial change in the world of education. As we all know all too well, change in education comes slowly, if at all. It typically happens in a bottom-up manner where the largest group of people identify a trend, try it out, incorporate it into the classroom, and then tell their colleagues about it. Thanks to professional learning networks and social media (Twitter hashtags like #edchat, for example), this process has become faster and more efficient. Trends are discovered, tested, and either adopted or forgotten.
So that’s how education trends work in a very short nutshell. Got it?
What happens when global education leaders get together and leverage the power of social media, digital discussion, and in-person forums? Hopefully some positive and effective change that helps the millions of people who would benefit from all the new trends and tools being used in many countries.
That’s what I’m going to check out first-hand at the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF aka the ‘Davos of Education’) in Dubai this weekend. In the interest of full disclosure, my flight and hotel is paid for so I can attend this event. I wasn’t paid in any other way, though. I’ll be spending my time moderating a panel, meeting with teachers (like Vicki @coolcatteacher Davis!) and other global education leaders. We’ll be looking at education technology trends, what’s happening in non-Western markets, and who should be making the decisions about where education should go in the coming years. Big questions. Big names. Hopefully some big changes can get underway.
Here are some of the key global education trends that will likely be discussed and evolve at GESF. I’d definitely welcome your input on what other trends you think should be discussed. I’ll be able to ask any question you may have to any of the invited guests and speakers so feel free to leave your questions down in the comments of this post or by mentioning @edudemic on Twitter.
1) What is the role of private companies in education? Is the onus on private or public (or both) organizations to enact real and lasting change?
2) How can governments nurture an effective educational change without overstepping?
3) How do we bring education to ALL countries? Is online education the answer or just a tool for the more ‘connected’ countries?
4) What role should education technology play in the modern classroom? How can it most effectively be used? How do teachers not familiar with edtech leverage it?
Those are just a few of my questions I have come up with for both my panel and the conference in general. I’ll report back on the answers I get and also be sharing some thoughts / insight / observations on the Edudemic social media accounts. Be sure to follow @edudemic on Twitter, like Edudemic on Facebook, and introduce yourself if you’re going to be attending GESF! I’ll be the dorky guy wandering the hallways looking to make new friends. All opinions expressed are my own – while I had my flight and hotel paid for, I can of course say whatever I want about my findings and experience.