Learning today has become a whole new experience, as conventional teaching methods are slowly being replaced by more progressive approaches. The classroom environment is evolving quickly in order to keep up with technological advances. It has to keep up with the different ways in which students are learning as a result of this technology.

Education 3.0 has become the new generation of education. It is a learning experience that is advancing in leaps and bounds from Education 1.0 and 2.0., so as to keep aligned with the digital tools and teaching approaches now available within a modern learning environment.

John Morevec, co-creator of Knowmad Society, has designed a chart which highlights the fundamental differences between the generations of education, from education 1.0 to education 3.0, in a very simple manner.

Some key differences include:

  • Where

Learning is not confined to the classroom anymore. An education can be acquired in any setting, at any location. Four walls no longer depict the space in which one has to learn. Online, offline, in a field or on the beach, knowledge can be gained anywhere.

  • Who

Education no longer relies on a teacher-student dynamic. Digital progress has turned teaching on its head. Technology and the internet have enabled the student to become the teacher, something that would have never been considered just a few years back. Everyone has the ability to teach just about anyone, everywhere.

  • How

Education is no longer taught through one medium only. Books, magazines, media, computers, tablets, whiteboards or chalk, just about everything has become a learning tool. Electronic devices and internet capabilities have widened the scope of how to teach, making the learning environment more diverse than ever before.

  • Meaning

Education is no longer a system of dictating information. Instead, it is a socially constructed and interactive process of information exchange, the context of which is changing continuously.

Below are six more characteristics of the modern learning environment:

  1. Teaching has become a collaborative affair. The learning process is now very much a two-way dynamic as teachers and students learn from each other.
  2. Access to online resources is encouraged as technology plays an ever more critical role in learning.
  3. Student evaluation is now undertaken not only by the teacher but by other students too. There is a shift to peer-to-peer learning and feedback, as opposed to teacher-to-student feedback only.
  4. Authentic learning taking into account real-life experience is being incorporated into the context of lessons. What happens in day-to-day life is as important in the learning experience as what is written in academic textbooks. A synergy between the two is forming the basis of the knowledge being imparted in the classroom today.
  5. Classroom design is evolving and space is used in strategic ways. Whole walls are used as whiteboards, or whiteboards are being made movable. Walls are also made of glass so that teachers can see what others are doing and so that they can also monitor their students from any part of the building should they step out of the class.
  6. The use of furniture in the classroom is changing, as conventional seating systems are being redefined. Students no longer only sit in chairs; they sit on floors and are even broken up into groups. Learning space is being designed to accommodate interactive methods of teaching.

There are some who argue that the way we are taught has remained the same, it is simply outward appearances that have changed. Education 3.0 seems to evidence otherwise.

Featured images:
  • License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-za/images/results.aspx?qu=education&ex=1#ai:MP900438770|

Eleni Hoplaros defines life as being the totality of many experiences. She believes this to be especially true in the process of getting an education.

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