The Classroom of 2030 – Review
The Agenda with Steve Paikin: The Classroom of 2030
The Classroom of 2030 is the first segment of Learning 2030, a year- long look at how technology is used for learning.
In the TVO segment entitled The Classroom of 2030, host Steve Paikin opens with the following question, “Internet, individual tablets, smart screens: will digital technology realize the promise of customized, student-centred education?”
A variety of experts engage in a candid conversation about how technology is changing education now, and how it will affect the classroom of the future. Children born in 2012 will graduate from High School in the year 2030. A video clip created by Microsoft depicts the classroom of the future, where we can connect to anyone at anytime, anywhere around the world in a virtual environment.
Moving Towards a Fluid “Learning Infrastructure”
Author Douglas Thomas talks about changes in the “learning infrastructure”. Due to advances in technology, we are moving from the stable learning infrastructure of the 20th century, to the fluid learning infrastructure of the 21st century. Today, because of the internet, knowledge is literally at our fingertips. The teacher is no longer the “expert” of knowledge, but now the facilitator and mediator. This idea reminds me of a conversation I had with my 8 year old son. He asked “Mom, do you think any one person in the world is smarter than the internet?” Of course, the expected response was no. Already at such a young age, my son understands that we can learn about anything we want or need through a Google search. However, does this replace the need for teachers or instructors? The answer is no. It simply changes the role of the teacher. There is a move from the delivery of information to the cultivation of skills such as: strategic and intelligent researching; and, problem solving in order to manipulate information. Putting “content” into “context” is the direction we are heading. Furthermore, through technology, we can connect to students’ passions and make learning relevant.
What Are The Best Things Technology Can Do?
A panel of experts in this field were asked “What are the best things technology can do?” Christine McWebb responded, “It eliminates the need for the physical classroom. It will no longer necessarily be a physical space due to the use of digital textbooks, and peer to peer learning.”
Mark Federman replied, “It connects us to the world.” He continues by saying, “Today, the 3R’s need to be supported by the 4 C’s: Connection, Context, Complexity, and Connotation.”
The Flipped Classroom
Richard McCleary, a grade 6 teacher, has” flipped” his classroom. This is trend that teachers are following today, in 2012. Students access information at home through prepared videos or tutorials, and manipulate the knowledge at school, applying their understanding with the teacher’s guidance. McCleary uses the following techniques, tools, and strategies to flip his classroom: students watch videos for homework and they are discussed the next day; students bring in their own devices to access information easily; games such as Spelling City and Sum Dog are used to enrich learning experiences.
Despite the enthusiasm for the use of digital technology, the panel agrees that people, not technology, need to help students understand information deeply rather than broadly. People cannot be replaced by technology; technology is just a part of the puzzle.
Moving Slowly Towards the Future
The Classroom of 2030 is an informative and inspiring video, and gives us a look at the advances that will support our instruction. However, at this point in time, we need to be aware that a digital divide continues to exist, and despite the enthusiasm for the technological advances that will enrich students’ learning experiences, we need to be sensitive to the needs of some of our students.
How will we bridge that gap in order to move our students from the brick and mortar classroom to the fluid learning infrastructure Douglas Thomas spoke about?
This video originally appeared on TVO.org and can be found by clicking here.