Why Schools As We Know Them Won’t Survive

The days before September 1st – 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 What is striking is that many classrooms have a very classic and outdated arrangement.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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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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4 reasons why touch tv’s will replace the IWB’s in the classrooms

When I spoke in 2003 about using interactive whiteboards (IWB) in classrooms, not many people took me seriously. It was too expensive and there was no added value for the teachers and their pupils. Now (2015) more than 60 % of primary education schools in Flanders, Belgium have IWB in combination with a beamer installed. No, I don’t sell IWB’s nor beamers but the company I work at – VAN IN – does yearly research on that matter. This implementation of ICT seemed for many teachers very feasible thanks to the educational content that fits within the didactical processes and is provided by the educational publishers as addition to their methodes. So why will the IWB’s get replaced by smart touch tv’s in the future?

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