Over the course of the last several hundred years, very little has changed with respect to schools. Sure, there have been minor tweaks like the switch from blackboards to dry erase boards, and the addition of computers and projectors.
|Nostrodamus is known for making vague predictions of the future. The predictions to the left are slightly more specific.|
Today, however, we find ourselves on the precipice of several seismic shifts in education that will completely transform the way teachers educate and the way children experience the classroom. Here are EdWorld’s best predictions regarding ways in which schools are likely to be dramatically different 10 years from now:
#4. Handwriting Will All But Disappear – This may mean the death of the familiar triple-lined paper we all remember from our youths—the kind with the dotted line down the middle to practice making letters. The only time anyone writes something out by hand is when jotting down a quick note or signing his or her name to a document. Email, texting and tablet computers are here to stay, which means that typing has become the dominant form of writing and the one that will be taught in schools.
#3. Summer Vacation Will Get the Axe – Well, not entirely, but it certainly will not be the 10-week layoff many students currently enjoy. There are a myriad of models for what is being called the “New School Year.” Some involve a six-weeks-on, one-week-off schedule, while others favor running straight through 12 months with occasional breaks for major holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. These models all are based on the same goal: eliminating the well-documented learning loss known as the “summer slide.”
#2. No More Gym or Recess – In keeping with the theme of things that will be eliminated, elementary-school staples gym and recess may be reduced to the point where they go the way of the dodo bird. Both are already “endangered species,” with groups working hard to save them. Recognizing the importance of exercise and physical education, the NFL is trying to “Keep Gym in School,” while Cartoon Network has targeted recess with its “Get Animated” campaign.
#1. A Tablet in Every Hand – It’s already happening. Entire grade levels are being outfitted with iPads. Mobile tech is the wave of the future, and if our schools are supposed to be preparing students for the workforce, kids had better be proficient with these devices. This also means we can say goodbye to our old friends the textbook and the notebook. It’s all going to be digital.