The classroom of the future – Reflections of week 2 #EDCMOOC

A day made of glass 2 and Bridging our future (below) both gave utopian visions of how technology could shape day to day life and more significantly for me as an educator, the classroom of the future. In many ways the visions show little change, with many day to day objects and devices such as the alarm clock, the car and the tablet, still featuring and playing their current role but a little ‘shinier’.

Both videos made me think back to September when my colleague Anmoal Thethi showed the following vision of the classroom of the future to our trainee teachers highlighting what might lie ahead in their careers.

These are all visions promising amazing things for the future. But how realistic? Or how close to happening are they? How near to actually happening are they?  I am now teaching in HE and in any given session I will find some students working with iPads/tablets, some using smart phones, others on laptops, and others preferring paper and pen. When I was teaching in school BYOD was not desired by our leadership but we had Interactive Whiteboards, ICT suites and laptops (although reliability of laptops was often an issue) all at our disposal. How does that picture, or these visions compare to your classrooms of today? Are these the classrooms of next year or next decade? And are we prepared pedagogically to deal with them?

Bridging the future for me showcased collaboration, problem solving & investigating, creativity, design, connecting learners with experts, ‘real world’ applications, assessment/progress monitoring, homework, and practical work. These are all aspects of teaching and learning which are already a part of today’s classroom. However some of these aspects are not always implemented or used to their full potential. I can think of topics I have taught where aspects such as problem based learning were embedded to great success, or where we introduced students to a STEM ambassador to put the topic into context. But I can also picture several schemes of learning which were decidedly lacking for one reason or another; be it logistical, lack of resources or the ever present excuse of lack of time. What this video really highlighted for me is how technology can be deployed to streamline and integrate some of these processes. We’re not talking the future here, the majority of what was seen in that video is available now (albeit in not quite as refined a form). We need to ensure that our curricula are rich with these aspects of pedagogy regardless and then embrace technology, using it as a vehicle to make them happen.

I was going to end there, but couldn’t without a moment for dystopia. Sight (below) was the final video stimuli for #EDCMOOC this week. I thought it was a great short, and as a sci fi fan could see would love to see a sequel. Watch it through for the sinister ending…

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