What will teaching and learning look like 15 years from now? With how quickly trends in education change no one really knows what it will look like. But, with the increase of technology in education, I personally think that school buildings, teaching styles, and the amount of teachers needed to provide a quality education will drastically change.
In an article by Prakash Nair, it states,
The following is a fairly universal list of education design principles for tomorrow’s schools, though it would be tailored to the needs of particular communities: (1) personalized; (2) safe and secure; (3) inquiry-based; (4) student-directed; (5) collaborative; (6) interdisciplinary; (7) rigorous and hands-on; (8) embodying a culture of excellence and high expectations; (9) environmentally conscious; (10) offering strong connections to the local community and business; (11) globally networked; and (12) setting the stage for lifelong learning
When looking at this list that defines what tomorrow’s schools should look like, it really makes me see how technology is at the heart of the future of education. In order to accomplish all of these 12 design principals, technology is really the driving force that can make all of that happen in the most effective way possible. This is what leads me to think that education of the future will be where most schools are practicing in a blended learning environment. Although this idea is not new by any means in the education world, I just think that in the future most, if not all schools will be strictly practicing this methodology.
Blended learning mixes the best of both worlds; the traditional method of learning in a complete classroom setting and the method of learning strictly online. Blended learning classrooms naturally have larger numbers of students and technology, and require less teachers to help the learning take place. This however does not mean that the teacher is not important, but instead the role of teacher has changed. Here is a video to help explain it better:
So what does this mean for teachers? We will have to learn to adjust to larger class sizes which will mean new classrooms designs, and school buildings will change in appearance as well. Our role change will no longer be as a giver of content, but instead a facilitator of projects and helping students research about the inquiries in which they are passionate and interested. Instead of teaching any whole class lessons, all of our interactions with students will be in small groups or on an individual basis. I think this will facilitate better relationships among teachers and students. Other interactions with students will be done collaboratively in online spaces to give feedback on their learning. We would also need to learn more tools that are available for the creation of teaching videos, as well as learn to organize learning data to effectively group students and meet their individual needs.
So how does this apply in my current classroom? Well, I may not be implementing blended learning completely in my room, but I think I am taking small steps in this direction already through class rotations in centers for certain subject areas. Keeping this in mind, I will continue to practice this kind of teaching and learning so that I can prepare my students for the jobs and professions of the future that have not yet even been created.
On a final note, I am truly glad that teaching and learning is heading in this direction for me as a teacher and also so that my children can grow up to learn in a way that is individualized, passion driven, and technology based. The future looks good to me. Are you ready for it?