For the past 50 years, education researchers and practitioners have been asking: What leads to improvements in learning? We now know that high-quality feedback and active learning are key. So how do we best combine them for students to learn better?
To answer this question, the Education Commission Asia brought together leading experts to discuss the High Touch High Tech (HTHT) learning approach and its implementation.
They heard from:
- Moderator—Professor Ju-Ho Lee, Chairperson and CEO, Education Commission Asia; Member, Judging Panel, Yidan Prize for Education Research
- Associate Professor Yoon-Soo Park, Harvard Medical School
- Associate Professor Min-Ki Kim, KAIST College of Business
- Ms Sajitha Bashir, Advisor, Office of the Global Director, Education, World Bank
- Dr Christopher Thomas, Director of Partnerships, Yidan Prize Foundation
- Professor Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University; Member, Yidan Council of Luminaries
Multiplying results with the HTHT model
The HTHT model of learning combines classroom technology (high tech) with hands-on learning, guided by experts (high touch). When students understand a topic and concepts at their own pace pre-class, teachers can allocate more resources and attention to support students in the classroom. Teachers become more effective and students learn better with HTHT.
Recognizing the potential of technology
Dr Christopher Thomas shared examples of EdTech innovations among our luminaries that help teachers implement the HTHT approach:
- Professor Carl Wieman’s free, interactive simulations, PhET, act like virtual science labs to improve learning even in the most resource-constrained schools
- Mr Sal Khan’s Khan Academy lets students learn at their own pace and guides teachers to identify gaps in learning
- Professor Anant Agarwal’s edX allows students to learn from leading universities and stack credentials to earn degrees.
These innovations show the possibilities for digital learning, and the HTHT approach of learning could become far more common.
A silver lining amidst the pandemic
As the world emerges from the pandemic, we have to deal with the unevenly distributed costs of learning losses within and across nations for years to come. Professor Eric A. Hanushek urges us to rethink: instead of getting back to where we were, what can we do better moving forward?
The pandemic showed us just how important teachers are to learning, and how they can be supported with the right technology. More than ever before, HTHT offers us a way to catch up with learning losses during the pandemic, and help students with different starting points learn better as they return to classrooms.