PROJECT BASED, TECHNOLOGY-RICH LEARNING – A STUDENT-CENTERED APPROACH OF THE 21ST CENTURY.

Pham Van Khanh
Hanoi National University of Education - Vietnam

We are now living in the age of technology, why are plugged-in generations still taught as our grandparents were a hundred year ago? Teacher-centered classrooms in which teachers are still content-experts, doling out information in bite-sized pieces and students passively digest them, is a common scene in Vietnam. Although I do not claim this method is not at all effective, I doubt that it could well prepare for students to meet the workforce needs of the 21 st century. The reality is that the jobs of the future will be the ones that machines can not do, and it is fair to say anything based on rules will be automated. Thus, the business world will highly value humanized skills - the 4Cs (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity), which are relatively challenging for conventionally taught students to acquire.

It’s essential that our educational system should shift in the student-centered approaches in which students actively construct their learning by formulating their own questions and answering them. Project-based learning (PBL) is one of them where students work collaboratively as a team on a project and while the educator’s position switches from the center of attention to being a facilitator guiding students’ learning. Students will acquire knowledge through the process of creating a real-world product. It is they who have to actively discover new information, communicate their ideas, and learn new tools and skills to achieve their goal. As a result, students develop a fuller understanding of how
the world works a sense of wonderment, good communication skills, creativity, organization skills, and eventually a sense of achievement. The role of technology is of significance since it is integrated s a tool for discovery and communication. This paper will focus on project-based and technology-rich learning's applications and its benefit to the current and future students.

Keywords: Project-based learning, technology, skills, student-centered approach.

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