Facilitators at the recently held 2019 edition of the Covenant University Edustart Summit, with the theme, ‘The Future Teacher’, have unanimously agreed in their submissions that the teacher of the future must be technology-savvy, innovative, thoughtful and collaborative among others.
The Edustart Summit, an initiative of a faculty in Covenant, Dr. Stephen Oluwatobi, helps stakeholders and entrepreneurs to understand the changes in technology and how to take advantage of them in the education sector.
The Vice-Chancellor of Covenant, Professor AAA. Atayero, opened the stream of presentations at the summit, stating that the best teachers of the future would be those who could successfully impart skills for critical thinking towards lifelong learning, adding that they would be those adept at teaching how and not what to learn.
While enumerating the qualities of the teacher of the future, he stated that the future teacher was Binar48, the first-ever robot to complete a college course and co-taught two sessions of an introduction to ethics philosophy course – which covers ethical reasoning, war theory and the use of artificial intelligence in society. The teacher of the future, he continued, was E-teacher (a digital native); Paperless, with the ubiquity of technology adoption in education, is gradually obviating the need for papers; and EdTech compliant (educational technology apps and tools).
Professor Atayero also opined that the teacher of the future was Formative (focus on formative assessments feedback), employed Feedback, encouraged Applied Learning (tying teaching concept to something digital that the student can relate to), and was E-student (an eager student with an insatiable appetite for knowledge).
The Vice-Chancellor, who acknowledged that the education of the future was a nebulous terrain that nobody could say with 100% certainty what its future would be, said that Covenant was, however, mindful of her place in shaping the education of the future. In his words, “The educational institution of the future has no walls, the future teacher is a global citizen, and he must be able to reach different people of different nationalities”.
In her presentation titled, ‘How Teaching Should be Done’, the Director, TEP Centre, Modupe Adefeso Olateju, posited that a teacher could not be said to have taught if the learner had not learnt. According to her, the factors to consider for effective teaching and learning were the physical environment, the curriculum and its assessment, quality assurance and support systems. The factors, she noted, also included teacher supply, training and development, accountability mechanisms and processes, links and partnerships with parents and community, school leadership, internal organisation and culture, and the well-being, attendance and motivation of all pupils.
Olateju said that teaching should be done in settings that are serene, safe and healthy, and have appropriate facilities and tools to foster active learning. The teacher, she emphasised, should be the facilitator of the learning process and not the custodian of knowledge; the teacher must be knowledgeable and passionate about instructional content and know and understand the learner.
She explained further that, “School leaders must instil passion in teachers and motivate teachers to engage learners. A teacher should strengthen learners’ self-belief and create mentally stimulating educational experiences. Communities should be considered as the ecosystem within which teaching and learning are situated, and schools must maintain requisite or stipulated levels of quality in the school system.
The future of learning, according to the Cofounder of Webcoupers and Haptics, Mr. Peter Ajegbomogun, was Mobile, with the key drivers of the future of learning being 21st-century skills in demand, personalised remote learning aided by technology, online peer to peer and facilitated group learning, and practical and applied to learn. He highlighted the 21st-century skills needed in today’s ever-changing job market as Learning Skills – critical thinking, creativity; Collaboration and communication; Literacy Skills – information, media and technology; and Life Skills – flexibility, leadership, initiative and social.
On his view of the teacher of the future, Mr. Ajegbomogun averred that the future teacher “Is up to trend with technology changes and uses it for education, knows about the skills in demand in the job market and adapts educational, content to fit the market demands, fosters collaboration amongst students, and has digital skills and is able to use these skills to teach his/her students”.
While making his presentation on the topic, “Technology Tools for the Future Teacher’, the Co-founder, Softcom and Npower project, Mr. Yomi Adedeji, argued that since today’s student was hugely influenced by the social media, highly inquisitive and collaborative, impatient and easily disengaged, and his/her thinking replaced with Google, the teacher of the future must be e-ready.
The future teacher, he stated, would be expected to make use of tools such as Data, which entailed machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and pattern recognition. He said that other tools included Learning Management (mobility and blended learning), and Tailored Platforms (assessment and segmentation). Tools of the future, he added, must match skills to opportunities.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the initiator of the summit, Dr. Stephen Oluwatobi, asserted that in order for a nation to achieve sustainability, there must be a National Plan, Manpower Plan and Education Plan. He stated that the future of any country depended a lot on teachers as the quality of governance demonstrated by the leaders of a nation reflected the quality of teaching accessible to the leaders.
Dr. Oluwatobi, who is Deputy Director, Commercialisation, Covenant University Centre for Research, Innovation and Discovery (CUCRID), defined a true teacher as an inspiration, who found and built on ideologies, was a good student, and needed to be a learner of his/her student as much as the student needed to learn.
Participants at the Edustart Summit included panellists, tech companies enabling education, students, investors, developers and designers, educators and tech enthusiasts.