Classroom 2020

A Look Ahead : Classroom of 2020: The future is very different than you think

by ERIN MILLAR, Special to The Globe and Mail, Published Monday, Oct. 22 2012, 4:29 PM EDT

Starts off:

“Imagine: you wake up at 9:23 a.m. one September morning in 2020. Your alarm failed to sound and now you’re late. But don’t fret. Your commute to school consists of carrying your laptop to the kitchen table. No need for a back-to-school outfit, as you settle in wearing pyjamas.”

“Higher education seems poised to undergo the type of technological disruption that upended creative sectors such as the music and publishing industries. And this transition has sparked a debate among educators that speaks to the core of teaching.”

“The shifting emphasis away from teaching content mirrors a transformation occurring at libraries. Although the number of books at libraries has decreased dramatically in recent years − the Amsterdam Library, for instance, has reduced its visible holdings by 70 per cent − libraries are being used more heavily than ever before. “This dematerialization of content is a Gutenberg moment,” explains journalist and author Michael Harris, who has written about the state of libraries. “Once we don’t have to go to the same place to access information, we find that we still need to get together to hash out ideas.””

“The same could be said for education. Survey after survey shows that the most satisfied students are those who have the most opportunity for connection with their peers and professors. Of course, thoughtfully used technology can bolster interaction.”

… and concludes:

“But the type of conversations at the heart of an undergraduate education are not the type that can be accomplished with a scheduled Skype date; they rely on happenstance. To borrow Orwin’s phrase, educational electricity does not crackle only in a successful classroom but also in the campus pub.”

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