By Richard Haynes
Day-to-day, technology makes the world ever smaller. Not long ago, if you wanted information, you were limited to trips to the library and your family’s outdated encyclopedias. Now, nearly infinite knowledge is a few simple clicks away.
Likewise, countries all across the world have investigated and found new teaching strategies that are revolutionizing education. Nonetheless, many school systems are slow to adopt them. Therefore, people from across the globe are turning to the Internet to take control of their education. They are seeking out these new teaching strategies and sharing them with other like-minded individuals.
Below is a list of four unusual and nontraditional teaching techniques from four very diverse countries. Adopt these strategies and make them part of your personal learning system.
1. Scotland – Play More Games
In an experiment conducted in sixteen Scottish schools, students were happy to receive a brand new Nintendo DS. Each morning before traditional learning, they dedicated time to playing various brain training games. According to a Development Officer for the program, the results were astonishing. The students demonstrated a “significant improvement” in mental maths and concentration levels.
Why not adopt this strategy yourself? Whether you need to improve your concentration or boost your brain power, there are scores of mind development games and apps aimed at students of all ages. According to Tracy Dennis, Ph.D., sharpening your mental functions can even help alleviate stress and anxiety. Like a dieter who chooses to have healthy snacks at the ready, use these games as a way to shift your mental focus and to spark cerebral energy.
2. Italy – Get Social
Shortly after World War II, a teacher by the name of Loris Malaguzzi teamed up with parents from villages around Italy’s Reggio Emilia. His goal was to develop a new and innovative way of learning. According to a poem written by Malaguzzi, children have “a hundred languages, a hundred hands, a hundred thoughts, a hundred ways of thinking.” Therefore, he based his teaching philosophy around encouraging students to express themselves through various artistic outlets. Above all else, socialization was the most crucial. It was through social interaction where education would flourish.
Determine today that you will become a part of a community. Thanks to the Internet, you can find a social networking group centered around almost any topic imaginable. Search online for others who share your goals. It just might be the environment where you will receive the best education. Chances are others that have already overcome obstacles you are currently facing. There is absolutely no reason for you to reinvent the wheel. Implement their solutions as your own.
3. India – Be Curious
During a TED Talk about the “School in the Cloud,” Sugata Mitra discussed his research which began in New Delhi. Mitra simply gave children access to the Internet and allowed them to explore. As a teacher, he became a central hub which provided support to the students and encouraged them to develop and explore their ideas. With the freedom of their curiosity, the children on their own began self-organizing their learning environment. They began teaching and learning one from another.
We live in a magnificent time. Today, there are thousands of classes and seminars available to us on the Internet. We too can direct our own learning. What type of knowledge are you itching to learn? Whichever field you are interested in, there are experts ready and willing to provide all the education you need. Perhaps you could even put a team together with your new social media friends.
4. Austria – Steer Your Own Ship
The last learning tactic we will glean comes from Austria where the freedom of scholarship is paramount. Beyond the traditional seminars and lectures, Austrian universities allow professors complete freedom in choosing the content and techniques for their classes. This enables the educator the ability to tailor their methods to the learning styles of their students. The successes are remarkable, and schools across the globe have begun to adopt this approach.
Many university students today complain about classes that are completely unrelated to career goals. Thankfully, the Internet makes the classroom—along with the world—much smaller. With sites like Savvy, you can find coaches and experts who understand your exact needs and can adjust their systems accordingly.
There’s a whole world of opportunities available to you. Begin your journey of discovery today!