While we can’t be exactly certain about what will come of classrooms in the future, we can be certain that technology will progressively play a larger, more pivotal role in education for years to come.
In PIDP 3240 Media Enhanced Learning, instructor Doug Mauger introduced the class to three short videos that speculate on what “classrooms of the future” will look like.
Included in the videos were: images of students in different parts of the world communicating in real time through video chat with automatic translation, personalized computers built in to the desks, 3-D digital (virtual) models of the moon and molecular compounds, customized learning programs on tablets, Robot teachers, and casual classroom layouts where students are allowed and encouraged to roam freely.
While watching the videos, and reflecting on them afterwards, I experienced many emotions. First, I felt really excited for the possibilities of what and how future generates will learn. Excitement was followed by amazement and awe.
At times I felt overwhelmed by the technology, and even found myself feeling scared when I realized how technologically savvy instructors will have to be in order to keep up with the times. Change can be scary and I imagine that my fears of “getting lost” or “being left behind” in the technological shift are quite normal.
My biggest and most satisfying “ah-ha moment” in thinking about what education will look like in the future is the ability we will have to customize student learning.
The significance of being able to customize learning is that we may be able to engage and inspire a wider range of students who all possess different learning styles. As the traditional model only caters to a certain learner, this opens up new possibilities to excel for individuals with learning styles that do not fit in to the traditional model.
“Experts who study the effectiveness of instructional technology say there is potential for some digital programs to improve teaching. John Pane, a senior scientist at the RAND Corporation, said good technology allowed students to work at their own pace and independently while teachers worked with smaller groups” (Motoko, 2013).
As instructors in educational institutions, we will need to be open to change and open to learning about new technology if we are to remain competitive in our role as teachers and as ambassadors for the schools we work for.
The implication of moving towards classrooms that incorporate technology is that we must stay on top of trends in education so that can incorporate technology gradually and not get overwhelmed in the process.
At the end of one of the videos the screen shot pans out from a modern classroom – rich with technology – to the outside of the building which looks like the traditional brick-and-mortar school buildings that are familiar to so many of us. The symbolism of this ending was not lost on me!
I believe that customization of learning, including providing convenient blended learning opportunities and on line access to courses, is going to be crucial for institutions if they are to compete and survive.
“We have moved from a word in which we walked around with the knowledge we could carry in our heads or in books to one in which we can access much of human knowledge from our pockets” (Bowen, 2012).
Upon completion of the PIDP, my plan has always been to continue on with VCC’s Certificate in On Line/E Learning Instruction. Having such a credential will improve the courses I am already instructing and may also distinguish me from competition, should I chose to pursue other on line teaching opportunities in the future.
I will also stay focused and on top of what is new in technology and education by continuing my PIDP Learning & Instructional blog and posting a focused and reflective post once a month.
In the coming Fall semester, I will be using podcast technology to introduce the weekly content in my on line Marketing Strategies course. Additionally, I plan on creating a Facebook page for my Marketing of Services (face-to-course). The page will be used as a study and information resource for all things to do with the course.
Going forward, I will aim to incorporate one new piece of technology in each of my courses every semester to ensure that my teaching reflects the newest, most effective practices in teaching and learning. I will solicit feedback from my students and colleagues on the technology I am implementing and will do my best to modify my practices based on the feedback received.
It’s also important to remember the hallmarks of a good teacher: “patience, understanding, confidence, compassion, dedication to excellence, passion for life, and pride in students accomplishments” (Ripples of Improvement).
Lastly, as we know that technology will progressively play a larger, more pivotal role in education for years to come, I will remain open to change and to new technology and will do my best to welcome positive changes into my classroom, even if it means experiencing some discomfort and pleasant frustration along the way.
Rich, Motoko. “Study Gauges Value of Technology in Schools.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 June 2013. Web. 19 Aug. 2015.
Bowen, Jose. Teaching Naked: How Moving Technology out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint, 2012. Print.
“The Top 10 Qualities Of A Good Teacher.” Ripples of Improvement. Web. 19 Aug. 2015