Laurène Castor is one of our teachers at OpenClassrooms and she specializes in the transformation of education by digital technology. This week she is going to explain what inspired her to rethink education and why working at OpenClassrooms is part of that movement.
Name: Laurène Castor
Hometown and country: World Citizen
Working at OpenClassrooms since: July 2016
Job Title: Teacher and Instructional Designer
Laurène, you’re a teacher and instructional designer at OpenClassrooms. You have written and spoken a lot about how education is changing.
That’s right, I think education is undergoing a transformation. We are moving towards a more personalized offer. When I was doing my Master’s in Canada I set up a website specializing in education, digital technology, and creative solutions. I also lecture and give TED talks on the future of education. I’m excited about what the future will bring!
How do you think OpenClassrooms is making that happen?
The learning process of each student is unique, and we encourage curiosity and creativity to help students drive their own learning. Mentors can completely adapt the course to the needs of each student, so they can do everything in their own time with the support and guidance of their mentor. Traditional education just doesn’t do that.
Why do you feel that about traditional education?
When I was at school I found it hard to jump through the hoops – it didn’t make sense to me. I felt like the education system was a letdown, it didn’t take an individual student’s needs into account, it just processed them through this machine. At the end of going through the academic process, I realized I wanted to bring about change in education.
What made you realize that?
Actually, it was Ken Robinson’s TED talk, which I saw in 2009.
When I saw it, it was like a revelation. I said to myself, that’s what I want to do in life – I want to be like him. I was so impressed by his talk – so humane and intelligent and at the same time so obvious. In just 20 minutes he gives a solution to refund our education system, placing children at the centre of their own learning, respecting their rhythm, giving them confidence in their ability to learn and offering them a wide variety of subjects, without trapping them in an age group or a closed learning system that they have to follow.
Is that what you’re trying to do at OpenClassrooms?
Exactly! So many bright people have been let down by traditional education. Many of them don’t even realize their own potential. With OpenClassrooms they drive their own learning because they choose what they want to learn and the pace they will learn it at. They learn hands-on by doing real projects, so they learn in order to solve problems, which means they can see the point of what they’re doing. The mentors are there to support and guide them, of course, because most of us need that support to bring out our very best talents.
It’s true, at OpenClassrooms we love finding out people’s hidden talents. What is yours Laurène?
Well, I’m currently writing an anticipatory sci-fi novel, set in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s about two sisters living in a high-tech world, brought up by AI androids and trying to get on with their lives after a lethal virus decimates part of the world’s population. I don’t know if it’s a hidden talent, but I love writing.
Laurène, thank you for sharing your ideas on education with us.