Why Schools As We Know Them Won’t Survive

The days before 1 September – school start for primary and secundary education in Belgium – you can view many photos of teachers who have their class completely in order. Proud they post their ’empty’ classroom. What is striking is that many classrooms have a very classic and outdated arrangement. I am talking about the three rows of banks instead of groups. Some classrooms are so small that they all look a little pinched.

I myself once taught in a classroom where the banks almost stood together, side by side. I had just one cabinet, a small blackboard and no space for computers. Admittedly, those years were an emergency solution, but it left an impression on every student. Space is as important as silence.

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Make This Day Count!

Do you ever think about the fact that what you do today determines your future? What you sow today may have an important effect for example within 10 or 20 years. So do today what you think you should do. You will be grateful for it within a few decades.

Especially if you’re a teacher …

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2038

Emma and Naut get picked up in a hydrogen self-driven car. Although they live quite far from their learning hub they always arrive on time. There are no traffic jams.

This hub is no longer remotely resembling the school their parents sometimes tell about. It is universal. The ‘building’ has cosy corners, amphitheater, restaurant, rooms looking a bit like a classroom are built on the outside, beanbags, a garden … Solar panels, rainwater collector, thousands of mini windmills on the roof catch wind and turn when it rains. This is how this hub is self-sufficient. They needn’t go to the learning hub every day as of the age of 12. Only on planned days and their few fixed days. 

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A lifetime of change

Anyone who started working in the 60’s and 70’s never thought that their lives would be impacted by technology in a never ending pace. Fax machines, personal computers, internet for all, the first mobile phones, mp3, widescreen color tv, flat screens, digital photography and video, car computers, GPS, YouTube, Yahoo, Google, and so on. I’m sure you can name a lot more fantastic innovations you encountered in your life and made a change. At first these innovations came gradually and the impact on the daily job wasn’t transforming the way whole companies were organized.

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Is the teacher still the killer app in the future of learning?

A few decades from now how will teaching look like? How will schools be organized and what about learning materials? I strongly believe that if personalised learning is the future for K-12 schools publishers will go through an important transformation from one size fits all to offering solutions for teachers to tune the learning materials to the needs of their pupils. I wrote another article on that thought in this article Could this be the school of the future. Continue reading

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