When we think of the future, we tend to think of it as a far-off dream of flying cars and robots that keep our homes clean. In reality, the future is happening right now and nowhere is that clearer than in the classroom.
It wasn’t that long ago that green slate boards and chalk were the perfunctory means of communicating ideas and concepts to children in the classroom. Today, schools of all levels are adopting technologies like the SMART Board. These interactive whiteboards allow teachers to digitize lessons for future sharing and make collaboration within the classroom easier and more efficient. Plus, today’s children are already comfortable with technology, so the SMART Boards are a natural fit for them that helps make learning a lot more cool.
In a recent article on the ERAC website, Brian Kuhn, IT Director and CIO for the Vancouver School Board, stated that, "If you want to game change education, you need to leverage new technologies."
"For example, if something is written on paper, it's static. Information wants to be 'free' and by taking that same information and creating it digitally, it is. Now you have the opportunity to tweet it, post it, share it, mix it, save it, search it, etc. You can now change its use because it's digital. This is how the value of ideas become magnified."
Schools are also adopting classroom audio systems that are designed to ensure that all students are able to hear - and understand - the information that is being delivered by their teachers. It also promotes easier collaboration among teachers and students. Teachers also find that the amplification systems reduce vocal fatigue and make it easier to control the atmosphere and learning environment within the classroom.
(Photo: SMART Technologies / Facebook / Ottawa Citizen) St. Celiia School in Ottawa makes the most of modern technology and environments that adapt to student's needs.
As classroom technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed and more children are familiar and comfortable with their tech devices, the possibilities within the classroom expand and seem to be limitless. What will our classrooms look like 5, 10, or even 20 years, keeping in mind that traditional dry erase whiteboards only became commonplace within classrooms about 15 - 20 years ago. These days, SMART Boards are taking over the classroom and many students have iPads and smartphones of their own. Perhaps we will do away with the traditional classroom and lesson format altogether!
Of course, Brian Kuhn has some ideas about what the future holds for education and he will be sharing his “Classrooms of The Future” presentation at the IT4K12 Conference in Vancouver on June 4th.
As sponsors of the IT4K12 Conference and passionate advocates for education technology, the team at Points West will be on hand to help answer any questions you may have about classroom innovations. We can also share some of the products and software that can help students reach their goals and maximize potential, helping to usher a new generation that is comfortable with collaboration and ready to leverage technology for the benefit of all.