The Future Of Education Is More Sci-Fi Than Beyond Imagination

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For parents right now, classroom may already seem fairly alien. When an elementary school student shares their frustration with their Prezi presentation about apartheid, or laments lameness of their PowerPoint animated transitions, parents know that world has changed. When a high school student makes a video accompanied by music also special effects, demonstrating how Ovid's word choices reveal character, change is undeniable. Though, having computers in classroom is presently just beginning. School in future is likely to be almost unrecognizable, in both good ways also in ways that will need careful management in order to be an unmixed blessing.

Computer in your classroom. It sounds new. It scares various lecturer, delights some students also baffles some parents. Bring Your Own Device, as a policy, can be intensely stressful when first implemented. It was so scary also anxiety producing which caused a major domestic disturbance in this parent's household.

It Isn't Really So New:

In fact, however, that particular innovation has been under development since 1970s. One person who undertook to figure out how to help teachers teach also students learn with technology, starting in mid-70s was Dustin Heuston. His ideas seemed "out there" back in 70s also 80s but now seem standard. He recognized that just putting a computer in a school would not make kids better learners. To achieve his goal of providing a nearly one-to-one educational experience to each child, whole approach to presenting information also helping students use it constructively would need adjustment. This, in turn, would largely re-define what teaching also learning mean.

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Equipment which will be available to scholars may soon be nearly unrecognizable. While laptops as well as tablets are in some classrooms now, in future, each child could well have a wrist-mounted computer. More conveniently, students might have a computer chip implanted somewhere on their person that could communicate with whatever serves as equivalent of internet in their decade. In such an environment, teachers will need to figure out how to do more than merely direct students to websites for facts also then ask them to regurgitate them. Teachers will require being able to teach kids how to think critically also apply information that is available to them in solving problems. With any luck as well as right preparation, future kids will go on to solve world problems like hunger, environmental degradation also geopolitical conflict.

Current Distractions:

One immediate challenge also one that teachers (also some committed, serious students) are trying to resolve right now, is problem of distraction. For teacher, having kids involved in multiple social interactions online while sitting at their seats may seem like a class control nightmare. For many students, activities of their classmates may prove fatal to their focus on task at hand also on instructor. There are, indeed, tools available at present, such as Insight by Faronics, to control also manage problem of kids surfing websites playing games, off-topic, Facebooking, or simply continuing legitimate work but doing so when teacher has called for attention. They are even beginning to seem less creepy also intrusive. Be grateful, because in future, teacher may confront student web activity that may be nearly invisible to eye. Solution of some teachers at moment, for example, some faculty at Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, is to permit most online activity, but to offer no leniency if student has missed a key instruction, or course content also fails an assessment. Thus, in words of one teacher, there may be a great deal of what looks like goofing off during class, but one can distinguish kids who are fooling around on their devices too much by their grades.

Advantages may compensate such type of problems. Imagine being able to teach several classrooms at once, in widely dispersed regions of world. This is already happening to some extent via MOOC courses such as Coursera. A webcam, a polite microphone system also a solid internet connection are all that are needed to reach literally tens of thousands of students globally. At least one coach, Al Filreis, at the University of Pennsylvania, reports that it was "a blast". Of course, in case of Coursera, there is plenty of teaching assistants also a good bit of peer reviewing by other students to help with volume of work. This model for making quality instruction available to entire world is likely to expand also potential impact is hard to fathom. Limitations of affordability, cultural prohibitions (for example, against women in classroom) also geography, will become simply irrelevant.

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Imagine students being able to do collaborate in real time, with no barriers of messaging or signal loss. This is happening to some extent now using Skype or Facebook or one of Google tools. However, there are sometimes delays in these otherwise rich media channels, due either to dropped signals, or slow internet connections. A future of untrammelled, nearly effortless also reliable communication will be accompanied by other challenges. How can teachers design assignments also assessments to require rather than punish inevitable cooperation that will occur? This is going to require imagination also creativity, but good teachers are endowed with these anyway.

Many classrooms are already filled with equipment also software that would have seemed like science fiction just a few years back. Many students have access to a breadth of information that seems to rival Dr. Who. With any luck, these kids will go on to use all these resources to solve tough global problems like hunger, environmental degradation also conflict.


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