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Obafemi Peter Lawal, modified 1 Year ago.


Youngling Posts: 6 Join Date: 8/27/21 Recent Posts


Researched by: Obafemi Peter Lawal (Lagos Nigeria) 


Education has gone beyond the 17th century traditional way of teaching whereby the teacher was the lord in the four corners of the classroom and the 3Rs were the main goal of learning. The world of education has experienced a paradigm shift. COVID-19 has exposed us to the reality of ever-changing world by revealing our strengths and weaknesses in keeping the students learning physically and virtually.

The fate of today’s education lies on four continuums of teaching: (i) helping students learn how to learn (ii) helping students learn how to unlearn (iii) helping students learn how to relearn (iv) helping students learn how to become lifelong learners. The future of education in this unprecedented time is centered on the role of the teachers in developing 21st century skills in learners that inspire creativity, encourage collaboration, stimulate critical thinking, facilitate effective communication, build digital manipulation and develop civil competence that enable students to be relevant in today and tomorrow’s dynamic workplace. 

We cannot be using the same old method of teaching and expect change. This bring about the critical question on how do we build 21st century skills in learners through innovative 21st century teaching in an inclusive environment?

However, the following are innovative teaching strategies that can be employed by every teacher towards developing such 21st century skills in students, while empowering them at the same time to learn, unlearn, relearn and become lifelong learners:
  1. VIRTUAL TEACHING: this is online learning environment that allows teachers and students to communicate, collaborate and explain concepts as related to the subject matters from any part of the world remotely. Most of these virtual tools like Teams, Zoom, Google-classroom and Edmodo among others are equipped with video and audio conferencing, real-time text chat, interactive online whiteboard, library for learning materials and teacher’s tools to control and manage the online classroom just like in a physical classroom. The beauty of this virtual teaching is that it builds the digital skills and awareness of the learners. It also makes learning and evaluation to be continuous at anytime and anywhere. 
  2. CROSSOVER TEACHING: the concept behind crossover teaching is connecting the town and gown together.  In other words, it is the idea of linking the school and the society together by bridging formal and informal learning settings. Virtually all the topics in the curriculum are adopted from the society; but why is the society being excluded from the classroom most of the time? Crossover teaching is an innovative method that helps to bring the experiences outside school into the formal learning processes in the classroom. For example, the experiences from field-trips, exhibitions, news, movies, school clubs, simulations, documentaries and discoveries among other everyday life-experiences can be linked to the educational contents through classroom discussions, assignments and group presentations. This will go the long way to making learning interesting, while equipping and preparing the students ahead of future workplace.
  3. TEACHING THROUGH FLIPPED CLASSROOM: this is teaching strategy and blended learning that is aimed towards stimulating active participation of students in the teaching and learning processes by empowering the students to complete learning materials ahead of time at home or before class activities and working on live problem-solving during class periods. Unlike the traditional instruction that limits student engagement in class activities, flipped teaching intentionally shifts instruction to a learner-centered approach by relegating the teachers to the role of resource providers and the students take the responsibility of gathering conceptual information through video lessons prepared by the teacher or third parties, online collaborative discussions, digital research and text readings on the given scheme of work. By so doing, according to the Bloom’s Taxonomy, the students can finish the lower levels of cognitive work (i.e. Remembering and Understanding), while the class period will be used for higher cognitive levels of learning (i.e. Applying and Analyzing) with peers and teacher’s present in the classroom. After class can then be used for Evaluating and Creating concepts. As this innovative teaching could be seen, it will help to build confidence, independence, creativity, critical thinking, research, problem solving and communication skills among the students.
  4. TEACHING THROUGH MULTIMEDIA: using smart board, projector or smart TV in the classroom makes learning interesting, interactive and exciting to all categories of learners. This multimedia teaching accommodates differential learning styles that appealed to individual needs of the students such as the visual learners (pictures and videos), auditory learners (audio sound), kinesthetic learners (touch/feel). The use of smart board in the classroom enables class work to be saved for future use; while the smart TV can be used to play previous class activities, especially for the students that missed the classes and lot more. In short, the use of multimedia is an effective way to bring the classroom to life while assisting the students to experience a deeper level of engagement and understanding. Perhaps, it helps to build digital and presentational skills in the learners.
  5. TEACHING THROUGH COLLABORATION: our today’s world is a globalized one that collaboration is an essential life skill that is relevant for all careers and endeavors. collaborative teaching and learning is a joint intellectual effort between students and or teachers by engaging individuals in interdependent learning activities in order to achieve a common goal which improves learners’ outcomes. Sharing of knowledge and experiences stimulate imaginations that spark up challenging innovative ideas among groups. This innovative teaching connects the dots by bringing together information from different places based on life experiences. Teaching through collaboration can be carried out through group projects and presentations or team debates and inquiring together that capitalized on each other’s strengths while working on other’s weaknesses in a supportive and respectful learning environment. In collaborative teaching, subject-teachers can also share and work together on unfamiliar topics or subject matters to be taught in the classroom.  This innovative teaching and learning will help to develop empathy, teamwork, leadership, problem solving, networking and negotiation skills in the students.
  6. TEACHING THROUGH CLOUD COMPUTING: this is a relatively new trend of IT industrial development in education that is driven by the increasing use of various mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones in the school environment, especially in the classroom with internet facility. The use of cloud computing is one such innovative way that teachers can save vital classroom resources such as lesson plans, notes, assignments, assessment forms, audio and video lessons among others for easy access anytime and anywhere. It also ensures that students who missed classes because of illness, late resumption, outside school activities or any other reason stay updated at all times. The benefits of teaching through cloud computing are cost reduction, better collaboration, easy access of resources and modernized learning environments that helped to prepare the students ahead in their academic and professional careers of 21st century.
  7. TEACHING THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are simulated experience of the real world through the use of virtual reality headset on smart devices which enables the viewer to explore and interact with the entire 360 degree or 3D of a scene. Teaching through VR can be used in many educational ways such as in virtual field trips, language immersion, skills training, distance learning, architectural design, special education, game-based learning, improved collaboration and many more. For example, instead of taking the students through a boring History class, the teacher can use virtual reality to explore ancient civilizations like Egypt and Rome. Equally, the students can be taken to any geological site in Geography class or even take a trip to outer space in science classes through VR. Virtual Reality can be used to help students and teachers gain classroom insights by recording and recreating real classroom sessions for students who missed classes and also for the purpose of revising classroom sessions in 3D. Teaching through VR inspires creativity and makes learning fun while projecting a lasting impression of the real world in the classroom.
  8. TEACHING THROUGH 3D PRINTING TECHNOLOGY V: Most students learn better when classroom activities are fun and engaging. Teaching students about foundational skills that are relevant to their future such as the STEM and STEAM curriculum is no longer optional towards building 21st century skills in learners. 3D printing enables teachers to design rich instructional materials that bring learning from computer screens into the classroom and students’ hands. 3D printers are used to create a model or prototype that could represent realia and makes complex concepts easy to understand. Using 3D printers for education can be an innovative way to promote creativity, critical and design thinking.   
  9. TEACHING THROUGH MOBILE RADIO TRANSMITTER: the use of Portable Card FM Transmitter of 60-108MHz that can transmit signal up to 500 meter in distance can be an effective and cheaper innovative way in the process of teaching and learning within a community without internet facility, especially at this unprecedented era of social and physical distancing. This innovative method in education can be employed by teachers in boarding schools to teach the students after-school hours and to do revision with them during Prep-class or while they are in their hostel. The students can either tune on their personal radio sets or use general radio receiver in school and start learning from the teacher. Questions and answers can always be discussed after the radio teaching at a fixed time and place. This innovative teaching can also be more beneficial to teach in rural communities where radio sets are commonly being used than any other informative devices based on cost and maintenance. This method of teaching can help in developing collaborative and digital skills among the learners.
  10. TEACHING THROUGH MUSIC: music is said to be life. When words fail, music speaks. The young are more excited when it comes to music. A student can memorize the album of his /her favorite musician but find it difficult to recall the meaning of a simple concept of a subject matter. Also, why do boring class and bored students suddenly become exhilarated with positive energy at the sound of music? Music is not just an innovative way of teaching but also an inspirational way of motivating and developing creativity in students. Teaching through this could either be through two ways: by composing concepts of a subject matter into music; or by using music and dance to stimulate/reinforce learning against boredom and making boring topics interesting, especially the last period of the day when the students will be tired to learn. Perhaps, when the students realized that you are 21st century teacher that integrate music into his or her teaching, the students will always look up to your class-periods to learn. 
In conclusion, we cannot mention 21st century teaching and quality education under SDG-4 without the use of technology which offers endless set of resources for educators. Utilizing technology helps to engage the students in variety of stimuli and creates an environment of activity based learning. This is to say that the use of technology in teaching the students does not only make the content of the classroom more interesting and fun, but also goes the long way towards inspiring and building 21st century skills in learners, while preparing them for the demands of today and tomorrow’s workplace.

Reviewed Note by Dr. Katrina Vartiainen (Finland)
When you change your ways in teaching from teacher-centered to student-centered approach., you have to change the assessment and evaluation criteria also. Nowadays, in the Upper Secondary School, students can have many different forms of exams. In the first year, the students can do the exams in the following ways:
  • In pairs (written or oral)
  • In groups (oral)
  • Having notes (“cheating sheets”)[for applied questions]
  • In digital form
  • To be done at home
  • Or they have portfolio assessment
In exams, assignments can be designed by students themselves. And they can fill in a reflective section, where they reflect on their learning and working during the course. In the second year, more exams can be done digitally or online according to the national system, which is used in the final national matriculation examination.