What is your vision of what the world could be like in 2020?
I envision that technology will continue to advance over the next 3 years. In the year 2020, I expect to see technologies that allow users to have more control and demand for things they want. The technologies that we have today will be faster and more accessible to people in 2020. This is evident in the advancement the speed of Internet connections and the availability to people all over the world in the last few years. We can expect new technologies to be developed that increase communication abilities, making it simpler and more realistic than ever before.
The use of organization tools will be crucial moving forward. The online device and application space is becoming overly crowded and will need a system in place to keep up with all of entrants. RSS feeds and similar applications will need to be utilized to stay current with all the information. Social media sites will continue to develop in a way that allows people to tell the story of things happening around them. With these connections growing and becoming more crowded, RSS feeds will be key in organizing our daily access to our connections.
Along with all of the advances in new technologies will also come about the importance of security. I envision security protocols being implemented that protect the personal data of online users in order to reduce cyber attacks and hacks. We have recently seen concerns with countries hacking each other’s data. It will be important for online businesses to find ways to protect their users.
How will changes in the world affect education, and how will changes in education affect the world?
These changes will affect education in many ways. We will see more schools implementing a 1:1 initiative so that every student has access to the Internet. This access will provide unique learning opportunities for students in a traditional classroom. Classes will be set up in a hybrid format that allows students to access the full course content from anywhere with their devices. Teachers will focus on guiding students through the course with less emphasis on lecturing. Lessons will be able to be adapted to give students an individualized learning experience. Allowing all students the opportunities learn at their own pace without limitations.
As information becomes easily accessible through phones, watches and other devices, the focus of learning will be more on connectivism. Students will increase their contributions within their learning network. Learning will take place by students working together and sharing their achievements with each other. Blogs, Podcast and Wiki pages can be used to increase student connections to the content. It will bring the content to life as students become more engaged with classroom content.
We will see more paperless classrooms that have students accessing content directly from their devices. Teachers will be encouraged to use technology as a replacement for paper assignments, providing an efficient and socially responsible alternative. This will eliminate the need for hard copies of textbooks and even report cards, as everything can be accessed digitally. Our district has already started the transfer of quarterly reports not being mailed out and only be received digitally.
How will your choices and innovations in the classroom affect others?
The changes in my classroom will have an affect on parents and the community. It is much easier when using these technologies for parents to keep track of their child’s learning progress. Parents can be informed 24/7 of what’s happening in the classroom, including having student’s perspective of the course. It puts more ownership on the parents to stay up to date with the needs of their child. With technologies like Skype and Google Hangouts, parents can contact their teachers for conferences any time throughout the year. It can be a challenge for parents to find time to meet with a teacher or attend parent’s night. Eventually, schools can adapt these alternative versions to increase participation of parents.
Community members will continue to play an important role in the education of students. The innovations in the classroom will have an affect on how businesses continue to manage their companies. Many of the technological changes should be matching the needs of the business, thus it will be equally important for them to be connected to the schools. They will need to provide feedback and support for initiatives that will help increase productivity for the local community.
How will being a teacher be different in 2020 than it is today?
The education system is continually evolving. Staying current with the changes in society will always be a challenge for educators. Teachers in the year 2020 must be able to adapt to these changes and foster a classroom that allows students to thrive in the current environment. For younger generations just getting started in the school system, technology will be a natural part of their daily lives. Using a cell phone or sending a message through social media will become second nature to them.
Advances in technology will allow the teacher to extend learning outside of the classroom. I think we could eventually see more open style campuses where teachers are available as a resource for students who seek extra help. This could eventually extend to teachers being required to be available to students outside of traditional school hours. Snow days, evenings, weekends, and summer vacations could be used to continue learning. Teachers will need to be flexible as more and more students become used to have these technologies as part of their lives.
I see teachers taking more of the role of facilitators, using the latest technologies to assist in the learning of students. It will be more of a backseat role with students being the drivers of the learning process. Teachers will be just as important as ever, ensuring that students decipher their way through the clutter in order to seek the facts. Allowing students to learn as they go and providing valuable feedback will be critical to the learning process.