Four Ways Schools Will Be Different in 10 Years
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.
Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
Copyright © 2011 Education World
The following is one of two winning essays composed for the 2012 The Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship. The scholarship is one of few annual awards that recognize non-traditional students and their pursuit of lifelong learning.
My name is Moon Soe, and I am a junior student at Metropolitan State University, in Saint Paul, Minnesota, pursuing a degree in secondary mathematics education. This spring 2012, I am taking four classes at the indicated institute above while also working full-time during weekdays. I am planning to finish all my required courses in spring, 2013 and begin my student teaching in Fall 2013. Coming to Minnesota as a refugee from Thailand, I was so enthusiastic and hopeful to continue my education for a better life. I attended Century College as soon as I got my GED six months after I resettled in Minnesota. I was the first generation who finished a two year college, and I’m now working on to finish my bachelor degree. I am originally from Burma (also called Myanmar) and also an Ethnic Karen, one of the very recent immigrants in Minnesota and in many other countries all over the world. While living in a refugee camp in Thailand, I was hoping for a better life, but I didn’t have a choice or a chance. Sometimes I blamed myself because I felt envious of the world and people that had more opportunities. Living in the camp for 13 years, I thought I was never going to be able to continue my education, and I had so little hope when I thought about my future. However, I am really happy now that I could start to dream about my future in real life and not a daydream anymore. Working fulltime and going to school fulltime might be a little difficult, but in order to finance my family without giving up on my dream, I motivate myself everyday to have enough energy. I understand how it must have been hard for my family since they do not speak English and understand much about life process in the United States.
When I started college, I was very happy, but clueless. It felt amazing that I had the opportunity to continue my education, but I did not know how to make it through my first semester. However, I said to myself that I should grab this great opportunity, or it would go pass me. I looked up for supports from every resource I could get from college, and surprisingly I made it through smoothly for the last three years. I feel so grateful and honored that I am going to be the first generation in my family ancestry who is graduating from college.
Undeniably, I believe there are many people in the world that are in the same situation as me. Having gone through a hard time to survive, I would say it is fortune and hope that bring me to this life stage. At the beginning it was challenging for me to declare my major because the world I grew up is too different to where I am now. However, I always knew in my heart that I love working with teenaged children. Also as a student, I always love math and have great desire to enrich my knowledge in mathematics education. After assessing what my passions and my abilities are, I decided to become an urban secondary math teacher hoping I could help guide these wonderful children to grow intellectually and pursue what they desire to.
My interest in teaching began while I was teaching as a non-licensed teacher for almost two years at a diverse post-secondary school in the refugee camp. However, I felt bad for I was not able to provide my students with the best quality education because I was not well-trained but given the job due to community’s need. Then, since 2009 until now, having worked in an urban secondary public school in Saint Paul as an educational assistant, I really love my job as an educator. As a result, I would like to take a step further to become a good educator for the lifelong learning journey of the new generations. After I get my teaching license, I am planning to teach at an urban secondary school. I am also very proud to be part of community education and represent many Karen immigrants in Minnesota. Receiving scholarship would really help me graduate timely. This scholarship is not going to be just a financial support, but for me it is evidence to prove to my urban students as someone who was once hopeless now has accomplished something great.
My last hope is one day I would like to become a useful resource person in my Karen community as a professional in education. My fellow ethnic Karen has been fleeing war and became refugees for many decades. Many generations missed educational privilege. Many children did not have educational opportunities because of life they had to go through. I was once like these children and was not happy with my life. Therefore, I hope to be able to help make a difference in these children life so that their dream may come true as other children in the world.
To learn more about the Mary Cone Barrie Scholarship, please click here.