10 educational concepts for a New Normal

ndra Charismiadji CERDAS Executive Director (Center for Education Regulations & Development Analysis)

IO – The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced all sectors to revise their thinking and impose a new order/normalcy in carrying out activities, including those of the world of education. The new normalcy in the field of education does not only limit the distance, the use of masks, hand washing, and hygiene and health protocols. The learning process must also be adapted to the challenges of the digital age where the use of information and communication technology becomes dominant as a working tool. 

The following are 10 concepts that must be changed in the new order/normality in education: 

First, the School is the only place to study. 

Ki Hadjar Dewantara said that the ideal educational ecosystem consists of three centers of education, namely homes, schools, and communities. This concept is used by countries that have advanced education systems such as Finland. Learners in Finland have never been given homework and school is for only 3-4 hours but at home, they have a culture to learn in social life as well. For that, do not look at learning from home as negative; instead, we must increase the portion again. And the role of parents is very fundamental to the success of the education process. 

Second, Education teaches various kinds of knowledge. 

An Irish poet and playwright named William Butler Yeats once said that education is not like filling a bucket but lighting a fire. Unfortunately, many people assume that the more information and knowledge they provide the better, even though everything spills. Education is enough to teach how to learn effectively and efficiently. What is learned? It can be anything depending on the interests and talents of the students themselves. This is one reason for the low quality of Indonesian education, which is loaded with content and so many subjects. 

Third, the teacher is the only source of learning. 

All information is available on the internet; if the teacher’s function is limited to sources of information then the benefits will be very minimal in contrast to the pre-internet era. The teacher’s function at this time should be more as a facilitator for students to select and sort information to solve problems or innovate. 

Fourth, the assessment of students is done with a standardized test. 

Standardized tests are not the only way to evaluate student learning outcomes. In this 21st century, project/problem-based learning (PBL) model takes precedence over tests that have answer keys. This PBL model is considered to hone students’ reasoning abilities at a high level (HOTS). 

Fifth, online learning uses lesson schedules. 

One of the characteristics of learning in a network is asynchronous or mediation of computers and online services indirectly or delay. Thus, students can manage their time and learning phases respectively. This concept makes learning possible 24/7, anytime, anywhere, and with any device. Meetings with teachers can be arranged according to needs. 

Sixth, the WhatsApp Application is an application for learning. 

WhatsApp is a short message application not designed for a teaching and learning process. The right application is a cloud computing-based office application and also a Learning Management System (LMS). Both applications are free for educational institutions to use, so it is recommended that all such institutions rely on them. 

Seventh, Technology can replace teachers. 

“Technology cannot replace teachers, but teachers who use technology will replace those who do not,” remarked by Ray Clifford, a US education expert at an international education conference. Technology will not be able to provide role models, leadership, sharing feelings, motivating, and a human touch that is needed in the education process. 

Eight, Silence is golden. 

According to a World Bank study, classes in Indonesia are the most economical in terms of talking by both teachers and students. 

Nine, great teachers are IT experts. 

The task of teaching is not done by an IT expert. Although in this digital age, teachers are required to master technology, it does not mean they have to become IT, experts. Information and Communication Technology is sufficiently used to simplify, shorten, and improve learning outcomes. In other words, digital technology is used as a tool. 

Ten, a Device is used for information only. 

Many people view a device in only one direction like a book or television. The device must be used more to innovate/be creative instead of being a consumption media only. Forms of creation that can be done by students are very diverse ranging from vlogs, blogs, animations, applications, digital artwork, podcasts, games, and so forth. These works are one form of learning with the highest level of reason, in accordance with the challenges of Industrial Revolution 4.0. 

By changing the concepts of education above, the new normality will become more focused on the effort to develop superior human resources in the digital age.