What I thought would be easy interviews turned out to be quite challenging ones. The vision of the future of learning is projected from their own experienced references. These parents went to school in the rigid educational system where they were grouped by their year of birth and taught from the conformity viewpoint.
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?
I won’t bother you with the same old story that educational principles of more than 100 years ago are still being used in schools today. That has been told a zillion times. Let’s look ahead and see how schools in my opinion have to shift from conformity to diversity in this post pc era.
1 The teacher is key
Even if future learning will become more and more data driven, the teacher is the human footprint in the learning process. He is the counselor, the tower of strength, the one to trust, the crucial human interface. Being an ex-teacher and ex-principal I know that machine learning alone will not deliver the best outcome. Motivation is indispensable and besides the game mechanics in the learning platform of the future the teacher is no matter what key in the learning processes.
Gaming was long time considered to be evil, disruptive and antisocial. The mind of the youngsters would become poisoned and brainwashed. The murderer’s free time was investigated and guess what. Right, he liked to play shoot ‘m ups implying that it must be the bad influence of games that made him a nutcase. That was the case more than a decade ago and this 2012 study by Hull, Draghici and Sargent, proves that there is a correlation between gaming and risky driving. Mind my saying but nowadays there are greater risks for our youth than gaming.
Many people think that learning styles are a myth. Actually the word ‘styles’ is being misused here. I believe that in my many years of experience as a teacher, school leader, educational coach, publisher, content architect and e-learning specialist, ways of learning do have reasons to exist. Those who oppose think that learners are confined to just one way of learning for all subjects and for the rest of their lives. That exacly is the myth since you learn using a mix of ways of learning. As a learner, no matter what age, you have preferences. That’s it.