By Michael King
The bell has rung for the need to transform education.
Although elementary and secondary education has evolved significantly over the past decades, the near future of our industry is set to have even more impactful developments.
Technological advances in Big Data analytics, mobile proliferation in and outside of the classroom, and the emergence of cloud-based smart content is creating increasingly precise tools to determine which educational practices will prove most effective and radically transform current educational practices.
Such cutting-edge analytics and cloud-based smart content can help educators unlock deep insights that will transform our approach to learning and help move the classroom from assembly-line models into a truly personalized environment – environments that motivate and engage learners at all levels, from kindergarteners learning the alphabet to university students exploring majors.
However, for a true transformation to happen there is a need for a seamless partnership between educators, parents and students that create a learning environment which fosters skill development and leverages technology to boost student engagement that ultimately improves outcomes for them. Public-private partnerships, as well as collaboration across private industries, are crucial to move classrooms to an environment that motivates and engages learners at all levels and creates an ecosystem where success is not generated in a vacuum but as a group effort.
This vision for the ‘future classroom’ could not come at a more important time. Studies have shown that, on a global basis, nearly 2 out of every 3 adults have not achieved the equivalent of a high school education. That outcome is unacceptable in an era when a secondary education is often the bare minimum required for an individual to productively enter the workforce.
Against this backdrop, today we are announcing a new collaboration with the University of South Carolina (USC) to leverage their newly minted Center for Applied Innovation to build the technology foundation and data needed for personalized learning that improves outcomes for students. The collaboration will be the first time a higher education institution applies technology from IBM Research – piloted by Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia earlier this year.
Together with USC, we will seek ways to apply Big Data and analytics to help align intelligent content, student assessments and learner data within and outside of USC walls. As the project develops, our collaboration will make USC an international center of competency for universities, and ministries of education using similar solutions around the globe.
Collaborations with universities and other public or private entities is a must if we are going to be serious about transforming education.
Together we can make an impact. Together we can create and use technology to transform education, and ensure that barriers to education become less of a factor for success across the world.