Significance of 360-degree learning

Significance of 360-degree learning and virtual reality in new-age media

Teachers today have to guide, advise, mentor, counsel, give shape to and show the way forward.

The way today’s generation consumes information has changed manifolds. These dramatic shifts in the development of media to a new age era of communication has paved way for a progressive form of learning, popularly touted as: comprehensive 360-degree curriculum.

Media simply means a channel of communication. So how does one decode this simple yet effective term and its burgeoning impact in today’s high-tech world?

The evolution of media to a new age of communication has given birth to an array of developed mediums that are being harnessed by the millennials to consume information. Other than the conventional film, television, print and radio, the advent of new technologies with internet has opened the Pandora’s Box of an array of new opportunities for millennials, provided they have an access to the education that is in par with the industry standards.

So, how does one incorporate these changing developments and bring an advanced curriculum to the classrooms? How do we, as teachers and mentors, guide them through the maze of multiple careers and specialisations through a cohesive, 360 degree model of learning? And above all, how do we as their guiding forces make sure that they are on the right track?

There are several factors that encompass the rationale of a 360 degree learning module. Some of them are as follows:

Digital learning:  Today there are many digital platforms, which offer high quality courses, curated by renowned universities and industry partners. With technological advancements like these; students have an opportunity to think out of the box and choose courses of their choice. It exposes them to a new world altogether while providing a global industry perspective.

Online learning or mentoring: Courses like Fashion Communication, Advertising and Content Creation need a definite global perspective. Most of the students in these streams will be working or collaborating with global companies and international platforms. Online learning helps us to create guest lectures, master classes, webinars and other exciting events in the classroom in real time by using the web. Sometimes industry leaders who cannot come into a school for various reasons; usually conduct their workshops online, much to the students’ benefit. Industry in the classroom is essential, be it live or online.

Career counselling: This becomes essential in any school that specialises in creative learning and creative education. Students have a vast ocean of choices in front of them, and each career has sub careers along with several specialisations.

The new reality is going to be creative careers, creative industries and creative businesses.  From fashion to films, gaming, design, media, entertainment, advertising and communications, the mundane and the routine will be automated under the influence of new technologies. The creative parts of the industry will be where the big careers lie.

To fit into this world of virtual reality, students have to be mentored and it is not enough to merely teach. Teachers today have to guide, advise, mentor, counsel, give shape to and show the way forward. Counseling is one of the most important parts of creative education today and most schools and institutions of higher learning have special guidance cells for the same.

International exposures: For fashion students, there are International Fashion Events across the globe. For students of cinema, there are International Film Festivals through the year. Ditto for all other streams, and it is up to us as teachers and mentors to make sure that our students are exposed to these events regularly; and are even allowed to participate, wherever there are openings for them as interns.

Some film festivals allow short films and as teachers we must keep a hawk’s eye on all such opportunities and get them to our students while encouraging them to participate also.

Classroom in industry:  Live workshops at photography labs, at television studios, in newsrooms, tours of retail stores (critical in Luxury Brand Management), spending time at live shoots, live events and watching industry in action is an essential part of the 360-degree spectrum.

(The author is Dean, School of Contemporary Media, Pearl Academy)

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