What will the classroom of 2018 look like? Matt Britland, director of education consultancy firm Realise Learning and head of ICT at Kingston Grammar School, says the future of education is in the cloud... What will classrooms look like in 2018? I think all students will carry devices connected to the internet and the cloud. They will store their work and applications in the cloud rather than on a local computer. The technology used in the classroom will prepare them for the workplace – the devices and networks used in schools and offices will be the same. Which other new technologies do you expect to see in classrooms by 2018? Google Glass and augmented reality will offer new possibilities for teaching. Of course tablets also offer massive potential. They allow anywhere to become a classroom – regardless of whether you’re in the playground or the sports field, you can access your schoolwork, stored in the cloud.
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Do pupils respond in a different way to tablets than they do to blackboards and books? Yes, because lessons can be delivered in many ways using the multimedia capabilities: video, audio, images, e-textbooks. It can help bring a subject to life. That said, that might change if and when the novelty disappears. Will teachers still be educators or will they merely be facilitators of this new technology? Tablets won’t replace teachers. It may make teachers’ jobs easier but an iPad can’t make a child passionate about a subject like a teacher can. The teacher will still be the
Which MOOC? EdX Launched: May 2012 by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Partner universities: 29 including MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, McGill, Berklee College of Music, Peking University Sign up now: Jazz Appreciation (Texas), Introduction to the Music Business (Berklee), Relativity & Astrophysics (Cornell) edx.org Coursera Launched: April 2012 by Stanford University professors Partner universities: 107 including Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Brown, Edinburgh, Tokyo Sign up now: Introduction to Chemistry (Duke), Global History since 1760 (Virginia), Critical Thinking in Global Challenges (Edinburgh) coursera.org
most important thing in the classroom, even if their role is primarily motivation. Personally I love the idea of becoming a facilitator. Kids will have the freedom to access learning materials from anywhere so if they want to extend their learning and go further forward, they can. If they’re struggling they can slow down and pause the video. They can’t pause a teacher. Will cloud computing enable greater interaction between schools, even those in different countries? Absolutely. It’s exciting for kids to experience the global community. Education is becoming more social and more global. The librarian at my school arranged a Skype interview with an author in another country, which couldn’t have been done in the past. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) let anybody online sign up to university courses. Will technology give people access to education in parts of the world where it may not be available? Absolutely. It’s fantastic that anybody in the world can now participate in courses at Cambridge. It makes education available to the masses, and that includes UK citizens. Many UK students can’t access education due to financial or location reasons. How can social media work in schools? They’re brilliant for improving communication and collaboration between pupils, and between pupils and teachers. Facebook can be moderated and it’s a great way of sharing work and research. Will kids become addicted to screens? A balance is needed. We need to make sure kids get outside and put their gadgets away. Online is very social and kids talk virtually, but this needs to be balanced with actual face-to-face interactions. 43