With an ever-increasing level of uncertainty about the future, be it in terms of skills or jobs, it is imperative that students are better prepared. Three International Institutes have been implementing innovative practices in their classrooms to help their students be future-ready. These have not only erased the physical boundaries of a regular classroom but have ended up transforming them like never before.
A Virtual Experience
Established in 2006, Stanford Online High School (Stanford OHS) has been one of the first schools to have embraced the power of digital learning, that too in a big way! The school has been consistently featured as one of the best schools in USA by Business Insider.
The school, which has produced one of the highest enrollment rates in Ivy League colleges, has been implemented entirely online. Some of the key features of this virtual school are:
- Virtual classrooms: Classes are conducted online through a dedicated platform. On an average, around 12-15 students are part of one class with a teacher, along with readily available class materials. Students can ‘virtually’ raise their hands to answer questions and meet up for a virtual discussion.
- Global connect: Students from all around the world can tune into the classroom
through video-conferencing technology. So one wouldn’t be surprised if the same class had students from all 7 continents answering a question on Hitler’s invasion of Austria!
- Proactive Career Counselling Network: The career counselling unit at Stanford OHS works with students and families to chart out career plans. They help in identifying the student’s interests, personality and aptitude to identify best-fit career choices.
Learning through collaboration
A legacy institute like Phillips Exeter tops the list when it comes to introducing collaborative learning in the classroom.
Established in 1781, this school has been consistently ranked as one of the best schools in USA, and even in the world! The school has alumni ranging from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to renowned novelist Dan Brown.
The school has implemented the Harkness philosophy, under which a group of 12 students sit around an oval table to explore a topic, with a teacher serving as a facilitator. The following 3 elements are included in this:
- Space: An oval table has long been the accepted statement piece to denote collaborative learning spaces.
- Student-centric: With students discussing topics from geography to politics, it is ensured that a sense of equality is achieved within the classroom. This helps in developing a sense of tolerance and sharing in the classroom.
- Discussion mode on: With lectures being replaced by active student engagement, the classroom learning becomes experiential and more peer-based. Here, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is no longer valid as every participant receives a fresh perspective out of the discussion.
Hands on experience, Matters!
A recent addition to disruptive education has been Ecole 42, a coding school in Paris which has no teachers!
The school was set up by Xavier Niel, a French billionaire in 2013. It is a free school and works entirely on the system of merit. Assignments are meted out to students right from their entrance tests and all the way to the very end of their duration in the school.
Some of the key features of this school are:
- Rigorous selection: All prospective students have to undergo a one-month long entrance test to secure a place at the school. Students who manage to clear the assignment-based tests get to attend the school for free for the next 3-5 years.
- Time management: At 8:42 every morning, students get digital projects to complete. This has a deadline of 48 hours and thus, requires them to manage all their activities in a time-bound manner.
- Gamified learning: All the modules (be it tech integration, AI module development or formulating algorithms) and languages (Python, C, etc.) have given rise to a virtual gaming experience for students. All their assignments require earning points in order to advance to the next level.
To prepare a future-ready workforce, our students today need to be more hands-on than just being rote learners. Thus, teaching practices are evolving to cater to an ever-increasing need for skilled students who can take any problem thrown at them head-on.
Has your school incorporated any cutting-edge innovations in its classroom? Let us know by emailing us at
Who knows? Your innovative classroom practices might end up being added in our next blog!