The importance of technology continues to grow, which is why it is becoming a core subject to learn in school. As a result, schools around the world are now offering solely technology-focused courses, with huge implications for students’ career paths and choices. Here’s how some of the world’s leading schools are embracing tech as a core part of learning.
Evolving STEM courses
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a term becoming more and more familiar to the average person on the street. This is because it’s often talked about by politicians and other public office holders due to its role in workforce development, national security, and immigration.
The STEM courses of today are beginning to look quite different from those of the early 2000s, with schools recognizing the importance of evolving their STEM offerings in line with the pace of technological development.
Hong Kong international schools in particular are leading the chase to become some of the world’s leading STEM course providers, helping to drive a global improvement in competitiveness in science and technology development. Here, using an iPad from age five as part of normal everyday schoolwork is the standard, and many teachers in these high schools are Apple-accredited educators.
Many STEM classes now also include:
- Basics of coding: Children as young as five are now being taught the basic principles of code, with many educators insisting that those who do not learn to code will get left behind.
- Software development: As a natural next step from the basics of coding, teaching of software development is now a core mainstay of many K-12 schools’ STEM curriculum.
- Robotics: Identified by many governments as an area desperately in need of skilled professional entrants, robotics is now being taught in many high schools around the world.
With so many children spending their free time engrossed in online, mobile, and console gaming, the gamification of high school learning is a hot topic. The theory is that by turning school learning into a game, students will be more engaged and more likely to find their studies fun.
One teacher in Canada with a background in software engineering has even created his own role playing game (RPG). His students all have avatars that can gain powers and abilities by learning new skills, helping them to advance in the game – much like in real life.
Personalized curriculum apps
In a similar argument for gamification, many schools are now pursuing apps – and even developing their own apps – as a way to better serve their students’ educational needs. The interactive nature of apps and the level of engagement among students are both, it is argued, ticks in the right column for the use of apps to create custom learning schedules.
Tech startup AltSchool has produced one such app, which is a platform that personalizes learning for students and makes the best education more accessible. Curriculums (called “playlists”) are created for individual students, with the app also facilitating round communication between student, teacher, and parent.
These are some of the ways that education institutions around the world are currently placing focus on tech.