The classroom of the future: Redefining the role of technology
Schools, for the most part, haven’t yet unlocked technology’s potential for transformation.
Teachers are using technology to substitute traditional learning tools and methods. While this is a start, to truly transform the education system, technology needs to augment, modify and ultimately redefine the learning process.
Consider an environment where learning is re-envisioned by focusing on the intended outcome, while not prescribing the path to getting there.
For example, a teacher at a school in Alabama wanted to better engage learners in class projects. For a world wars project, he decided to invite war veterans to the school to be interviewed by students. Students had the opportunity to take ownership of their learning by using their iPads to record interviews and create rich media stories.
The result was a personal and collaborative learning experience, allowing students to make deeper connections between war and its impact on communities.
In these instances, the technology doesn’t simply substitute an old-school notebook – instead, it modifies and redefines the entire learning experience, through allowing students to be content creators, not just information consumers.
However, without a skilled educator to guide and facilitate the process, technology, in itself, is redundant. The importance of the educator role remains, yet it has evolved: the teacher becomes facilitator, with greater agency and responsibility passing into the hands of the student.
Ultimately, technology – while powerful – is simply a tool. To genuinely transform the education sector, we need role players to seek solutions outside the confines of the past and present, looking to the future to find the classroom that best engages our next generation.