The Classroom of the Future

Everyone thinks the future is going to be better than now. When the internet was getting started the early adopters saw it as a way to democratize society. Gone were the gatekeepers of old such as ABC, CBC, or NBC (there’s a lot of B’s and C’s in media company names). You didn’t need to tune in to the nightly news to get information, you didn’t need to buy the local newspaper, you didn’t have to buy an encyclopedia collection. As Micheal Wesch said the web was about linking information, it was going to connect it all. In a way the internet did that but it also connected a lot of other things. It allowed tech companies to become massive, to dominate over everything.

Screenshot of an info graphic explaining how tech giants make money

The web has allowed everyone to connect and not always in positive ways. The web contains the very best and the very worst of humanity and this is something that, schools, teachers, students and society need to deal with.

I found his discussion on user generated content, user generated organization and user generated distribution interesting because a lot of sites have moved away from that. Looking at Facebook and Instagram the posts you see are not necessarily shown because lots of people liked or shared them but because the algorithm thinks that YOU will like it. We don’t know how the algorithm works or what causes it to show us things so we get stories about it being limited to only showing posts from 24 people.

So what does this mean for the classroom?

The classroom of the future will need to contend with all of these things. It should no longer be about memorizing dates, places, processes or facts. Theses are all easily available online. It should be about teaching children how to learn, how to use critical thinking how to find answers for themselves. It should be about teaching our children how to navigate this new digital world. As we discussed in class with the whole world being interconnected, what is appropriate to post and what isn’t? Is it ok to post pictures of your children online without them giving consent?

The future classroom should embrace technology. The classroom of the future should use all of that time kids are spending in front of screens for teaching. Embracing the use of YouTube in the classroom is important. There are numerous channels and videos out there to help explain ideas and concepts in ways that are intuitive and relevant to kids. The classroom may evolve into assigned videos before class where students get to pick from a couple videos explaining the topic to watch before class. This will allows the teacher to focus on what is most important as well as allow the kids to learn at their own pace.

“What really is the point of trying to teach anything to anybody?” -Douglas adams

The best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else. The internet and participatory culture can allow and promote your students teaching what they have learned to each other and to other classes. They could make YouTube videos, create a podcast, design a video game or numerous other things that the internet has allowed anyone to do. It promotes students creating in a medium or in a way that they feel comfortable and gaining a more in depth understanding and control of their learning.

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