Tech x Education Webinar
The second THINC Webinar Tech x Education has been successfully hosted by the EduHeroes Team in collaboration with the mentor and speaker Mr. Jon Bergmann.
In the fruitful 90-minute session, Mr. Jon Bergmann presented a highly passionate and insightful talk, and fellows from all over the world also shared their personal experiences and reflections on education.
Mr. Jon Bergman, one of the pioneers of the Flipped Classroom Movement and the leader of the worldwide adoption of Flipped Learning, was invited to be the mentor/speaker for the webinar.
Jon Bergmann has worked with governments, schools, corporations, and education non-profits. Jon has coordinated and guided Flipped Learning projects around the globe. Locations include China, Taiwan, Mexico, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, India, South America, and the United States. Jon is the author of ten books, including the bestselling book: Flip Your Classroom which has been translated into 13 languages.
Jon has been an educator for 34 years, with 26 years as a classroom teacher. In 2002, Jon received the Presidential Award for Excellence for Math and Science Teaching; and in 2010, he was named Semi-Finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year. He serves on the advisory board for TED Education.
He gave an insightful presentation on the problems created by online education during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the dilemma that existed long in the traditional teaching method, followed by how the Flipped Classroom Movement has brought exciting changes to the students, teachers, and the whole education sector.
During the webinar, Mr. Jon Bergman elaborated on the two key elements of this innovative methodology of teaching and learning - Active Learning and Relationship.
You might not be familiar with the concept of Flipped Classroom itself yet, but you must have come across the term "active learning" which has been popular in education for a long time and can be seen in a variety of learning processes, including project-based learning and learning through discussion/debate.
In Jon's class, students receive all the materials they need before class and, more excitingly, almost never "fail" a class because they have one-on-one time with the instructor after the quiz to discuss any questions they have, and the instructor can adjust the final grade based on their conversation. The entire class is designed on the idea of facilitating each student's learning progress.
The relationship between student and teacher is also a key to improving learning. The importance of the relationship has been particularly evident since the COVID-19 Pandemic, during which teenage students' natural need for in-person connection and socialization has piled up, together with an increasingly widespread of psychological problems, which, in turn, calls for an active response by the teacher to students' emotion.
In the interactive session led by Mr.Jon Bergmann, all the participant fellows also had the chance to actively share their own experience and their insight into the national education system in different countries.
In fact, more resonance than difference arose from the discussion, which has also led to the crucial and pressing issue of innovating the learning mechanism and education sector on a global scale.
Jonas Wolf, a fellow from Germany, shared his experience of dropping out of school at age 16 to start working when he felt constrained by the traditional schooling. He is now an up-and-coming entrepreneur.
The Bangladesh fellow Roman believes that an exam-oriented education system is frustrating and students hardly learn anything about the real-world experience. Therefore, besides her lawyer career, as a life coach, she is now committed to exploring how to bring out the potential of her students for better self-growth.
Some positive experiments of educational innovation, which come in line with the concept of Flipped Classroom, were brought up during the seminar as well. For example, Xiaoning from China shared her experience at Minerva University, an innovative Higher-education institution that has adopted a comprehensive and advanced online education system since its establishment. At Minerva, students receive all the learning materials before class and they bring questions to the class after critical reading. Students have the access to the online course system at any time from anywhere in the world, which is able to accurately record and analyze students' class participation, experience, and follow-up questions and suggestions.
Another THINC mentor, Professor Robin Lewis, former Associate Dean of SIPA at Columbia University, also participated in the webinar and shared his experience from the perspective of a lecturer, in which an American college student and his Chinese peer had different expectations about what a good class should be. Robin used this example to point out that the Flipped Classroom methodology should also be adaptive to students of different cultural backgrounds.
The Portuguese fellow Tania, who also graduated from Minerva University, has founded the educational organization Humanity in Tech to help high school students gain a better understanding and be well prepared for their future learning in STEM majors. The benefits and positive changes might take a time to happen, but Tania is very confident and patient about that.
The sparks of inspiration from the webinar continued to spread in the THINC community. one fellow, Arthur, from Latvia, put-downs 5 pages of notes for his takeaways and thoughts, and was more than excited and aspired to see how every THINC fellow, despite their vastly different backgrounds, are working hard in their own field towards some shared ideals, and many fellows are actively engaged in shaping the future of education.
What will the future of education look like?
There is no definite answer to that question - but at THINC, we are working with curiosity, passion, and dedication, to be part of the future we desire.