In December last year I was honoured to be named in Huffington Posts Top 12 Global Education Blogs of 2014. The bloggers on this list have been asked to contribute to Huffington Post’s Education blogs for 2015. The first in a series of blogs answers the question “What will be the most significant classroom innovation in the next 10 years?” – here is my response:
What will be the most significant classroom innovation in the next 10 years?
Education, like all aspects of our everyday life, is constantly changing. We see hundreds of new innovations every day. Some innovations are just exciting or bizarre, while others completely change the game (I will get to this one later). New innovations in Educational Technology come out so rapidly that it is a real challenge to predict what will be happening 10 years from now.
Right now, we need to move towards more technology driven 1:1 device environments. Teachers are already more confident in the integration of technology and schools are appointing teachers who have been specifically trained to ease this transition. BYOD (bring your own device) and 1:1 programmes are now commonplace in schools, particularly for students in fifth grade. Studies show that students who use their own devices in class have increased productivity and engagement.
The other technological trend sneaking in to classrooms is globally connected education techniques that are providing students with the opportunity to learn from experts through Skype or Google Hangouts. Now, this is an exciting reality! Many schools are now connecting with experts and other classrooms all over the world in a collaborative and engaging manner. Thanks to educative programs like Mystery Skype, the teacher no longer has to be the expert in everything in the classroom.
So if this is happening now, where to in the future?
My prediction for the most significant classroom innovation in the next 10 years is ……
Wearable technology is already sneaking into our life with such innovations as interactive watches and glasses. It is the art of being able to learn anywhere at anytime and also includes any ‘how’. Wearable devices will give students and educators more opportunities to be connected learners. Even though, wearable technology is not yet practically usable in the classroom, I predict that in ten years it will be commonplace.
How amazing will it be to have uniforms that change colour based on the learning environment you are in or a watch that buzzes you a reminder of an upcoming assignment? The other interesting addition to wearable technology is the advancement of Augmented Reality. Imagine having Augmented Reality (AR) giving people a guided tour of your school, or a AR trip back in time to Ancient China to support learning in class.
In order for this to become reality, local Governments need to play the game and start funding technology in schools. It is critical for students to have access to the best in order for them to become the best. Spread the word and let’s make this dream a reality!