One day when it rained on a bright sunny morning, humans in the Stone Age went into caves. But when it rained again some of them got together and struck stones together to accidentally discover fire and save themselves from the wrath of nature. Maybe the fire of innovation always had its place in the human blood since inception. And the person who said, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” changed what he wanted to say after years of discovering and creating things and ideas without necessity but with the urge of creativity. It’s time and how where today’s generation is ready to learn how to learn. Read that again. The earlier Innovation in education system included arts as a ‘creative’ subject and made it a forbidden term for meritorious students.
Well, by 2021 we’ve seen the concept of personalisation in literally every aspect of human life. From clothing, furniture, decor, food and now to automobiles, the concept of curating your own experience is already in rave. But have we yet reached a phase where we’d like to curate our own education from a comprehensive menu and ask for extra top-ups?
Well, as they said ‘Creativity is contagious’ it made sure it reaches curious minds and so it did. Looking at today’s education and learning scenario, from arts to commerce to engineering, ‘Creative Thinking’ ‘Innovation Learning’ ‘Design Experience’ are some terms that define the very structure and foundation of a curriculum. These are becoming the must-have skills for now and the times to come.
Have the times changed? Or has innovation taken over the times? Traditional learning has been hacked and students are now trained to creatively interact with their environment with confidence and be curious everyday. Be it lighting fire through stones to utilising lithium for running batteries, we’ve come a long way in building a bridge between necessity and creativity for invention and innovation.
Today’s human instinct isn’t for survival but for innovation. The hunger to manoeuver through creativity to find new ways of living and doing everyday chores has turned contagious. And with time, innovation has become the key for humans to find new means to fulfil their creative needs that conventional education might have struggled to reach. As Anand Deshpande says, “Every individual, and no one else, will be responsible for their own careers and keeping their own skills up to date. The world ahead will be very different from the world we live in. In this fast-changing and dynamic world, academic institutions must help students focus on 4Cs – Continuous Learning, Collaboration, Communication and Commerce because it is time to think about true multidisciplinary education.”
Observation and creative thinking are bringing about change in our everyday lives. Moving away from the traditional methods of education has taught innovators to discover ways to not only score a job but also create one. Taking cue of changing time, many Indian universities encourage students and create environments of innovative learning everyday. While some still trained students to crack entrance exams, some found rapid tests for COVID-19 and enabled sanitising robots in a classroom.
Learning was a conventional concept so far. The internet is more accessible and affordable now and has created avenues for remote learning. This is increasing awareness amongst parents and teachers and the access to information and technology is making it relatively easier even for the underfunded schools to start experimenting Innovative Learning.
Earlier, where innovative brains like Einstein were asked to leave schools, the education system has come a long way with innovation. Now, there exist innovative platforms that focus on development of the left side of the brain of a child along with the right side. “Major corporations like Google, Microsoft and Tesla aren’t keen on a degree. What’s important is, have you learnt, have you practiced, can you solve problems. We are breaking the traditional ways of education and starting to learn what we want in a way we want to, simply because we can afford to do so.” says Ripul Kumar.
In 2021, the education system has adapted to the idea of the human mind being addicted to innovation and curriculums haveacknowledged this humble development. Our duty as peers, parents and administrators is now to promote creative thinking and instigate the learner’s mind to create its own space and tools of innovation. And as quoted by Kiran Sabnis, ”The roles of a teacher and student are changing, and the entire ecosystem is on the verge of changing. They learn from podcasts, friends, YouTube, family and friends. Nobody cares about which country or which university you've studied from. The value that you can bring to the table, the business and user impact you can create will only matter." It’s the need of the hour to dig deeper and plant the roots of innovative learning with traditional education systems for generations to inherit a new dimension to look at the environment and society with curious eyes and open minds. Today, we’re all learning how to learn and this is what will upgrade the human mind, one innovation at a time.