The same collaborative spirit seen in the emerging sharing economy of Uber and AirBnB should be extended to classrooms around the globe, education thought leaders urged at the Reimagine Education awards and conference held last week in Philadelphia.

Jeremy Rifkin addresses delegates at the Reimagine Education conference. Photo: The PIE News

Delegates and stakeholders discussed the need for more collaboration among students both inside the classroom and in cross-border collaboration.

“Why are we teaching our kids that collaboration is cheating?”

Jeremy Rifkin, economist and social theorist from the US said in a keynote speech that it is necessary for educators to change their notion of “knowledge”.

“In a classroom we teach our kids sharing knowledge is cheating. We need to move from the idea that knowledge is power, to knowledge is the supreme social embedded experience,” he explained.

“Knowledge is something that happens between people, it’s the sharing of our common experiences.”

His comments were echoed by Jaime Casap, chief education evangelist at Google, who addressed delegates at the gala dinner.

“Imagine as teachers you hand out a test in primary or secondary school, and two kids come up to you holding the test together saying ‘We decided to combine our skill set. We did this together’, what would your reaction be?” he challenged.

“Why are we teaching our kids that collaboration is cheating?”

While highlighted as a classroom good, collaboration is also something that is valued across borders, according to Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS.

“QS is very international in our outlook and we believe that international transfer of knowledge, international mobility of students is fundamental part of our contribution to the education space,” he told The PIE News.

“So we are championing this internationalisation.”

Furthermore, Santiago Iniguez, dean of IE Business School in Spain, said that the younger generations see the global environment as something natural, adding that “there’s an increasing cross-border movement of students, faculty, talent, ideas which is unstoppable.”

“It’s something very important on campus, it’s what happens among disciplines, how they learn from others,” he told The PIE News.

“That’s why international diversity is so key and we should open up and clear all the barriers that exist for cross-border movement.”

The Reimagine Education conference and awards saw 350 delegates from 31 countries come together to showcase innovative projects at their educational institutions around the world, and celebrate best practices at the awards ceremony.

“We have to integrate technology into everything we do”

Awards were presented in categories including teaching delivery, learning assessment and hybrid learning.

Jerry Wind, co-founder of Reimagine Education and professor at The Wharton School in the US, underlined another of the event’s themes by saying that technology needs to be used to enable education’s reach and access.

“Without technology we will not be able to address this scalability that we need, equality that we need, the impact that is needed,” he said. “So we have to integrate technology into everything we do.”

Quacquarelli added: “Technology is facilitating the dispersion of high quality education to more people than ever before around the world.”

“It is likely that blended learning is going to make that more affordable and more easily scalable,” he added. “So in that sense, this technology revolution is going to help access.”

[Source:-The Pie News]

By Adam