The school is a social institution.
As it is an integral and fundamental part of society, it cannot fail to observe and listen to what is happening in the environment that surrounds it.
A new revolution has been underway for years, which is the digital. The latter never seems to stop: the technology today it is evolving faster than we can sometimes imagine.
Ours is a world in constant development, and it is also the task of an old and traditional institution like the school to keep up with the times and adapt to change.
The school of the future or the future of the school?
Until now, schools have used technologies to secure a connection, to shorten and manage distances. And it’s right: digital is also used for this. But we have now moved on to the next phase. This does not mean that the small steps forward that have been taken have not helped. It simply means that at this point, they are no longer enough.
There traditional teaching can not go hand in hand with digitization in progress: we have seen it with the error in DAD.
In fact, students do not feel protected by school: Today’s data informs us that a large number of high school graduates do not intend to enroll in university. The truth is probably that young people feel disoriented: They do not see a similarity or concordance with what they experience outside and what they experience in the classroom.
The basic problem is that there is obviously no complete understanding of the phenomenon: the school does not need to be digitized. Of course, the book is fine and will always be useful. Rather, we need to completely rethink the school system. One cannot train students in such a way that they are only familiar with analog. The latter is a trend that will probably not disappear, but which will increasingly be confirmed.
The book, the traditional text will always be a means of support. But it’s time for more expand the learning experience. It is time to use all the channels we have to deliver comprehensive, less passive, personal and more real knowledge.
The most obvious example and idea at the moment is to use augmented and virtual reality during the hours. This type of multimedia content will allow the student to have more engaging and contextualized experiences, making it possible to connect the abstract of the text with reality.
In this way, the cognitive approach would also change: the transposition from a piece of paper, which certainly stimulates the imagination, to the real reality, would stimulate the memory, the sensitivity to certain topics and the curiosity to elaborate on some themes.
The role of teachers
In this context, those who feel most disoriented are, of course, the teachers. Some of them actually feel unable to handle one change so deep in learning states of their young.
In fact, the teacher must not only deal with digitization, but also with the new ways of thinking and reasoning that are widespread on a global scale. It must be ready to deal with young people who have different ideas, different ways of learning and reasoning, and who in today’s society are considered equally valid and worthy. Every student must be able to expect a personal education that has no boundaries and that allows him to express himself freely.
With this approach, school teaching would go from being a passive, purely receptive activity to becoming an opportunity for exchange and co-creation. The goal would be to create one collaborative environmentwhere students and teachers can interact to create together a new way of teaching and learning that is as engaging as possible for young people of the current generation.
Therefore, in order to achieve this goal, the teacher must be open to listening, observing and respecting the children’s way of living and thinking. He must accept the ideas that come from their minds, their needs, without, however, losing sight of the main purpose of his profession: to teach and educate.
All this does not translate into an attitude and power on the part of the students to the detriment of the professors. Rather with a new way of “teaching” in which individual knowledge becomes collective, aggregated. This will only add value to education, which in this way will be able to move forward in an environment characterized by continuous renewal and suitable for those who are to be a part of it.
A look at the new study programs
In addition to new approaches and new ways of communicating education and culture, schools at all grade levels also need a renewal of the subjects to be taught.
At the universities, we already hear about the “future” course of study. The educational offerings of the Italian universities are thus expanded, oriented on three main guidelines:
The new courses focused on these three main themes relate mainly (and inevitably) to the faculties of economics and technology, but also to the medical faculties.
However, the ideal would be to include new study paths even at the most humanities faculties.
To return to the discussion earlier, universities should commit to educating teachers who need to be in tune with contemporary languages, combining knowledge of disciplinary content with the skills needed to live in a connected society.
In this connection, we are talking about a degree in Digital Humanities who will arrive in Italy at Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples, under the name “Master’s course in Digital Humanities. Cultural heritage and literary subjects”. The aim of the training course is precisely to train teachers who are able to provide appropriate teaching for the future dominated by digital transformation and fromglobal interconnection.