The Classroom of the Future

This week I have the privilege of presenting a series of lectures at a familiar place, Australian Catholic University in East Melbourne. Each year I am only to happy to oblige when asked to come back to speak to tertiary students. As a practising educator, I believe it is a moral and professional obligation to prepare our pre-service teachers in the best possible way that we can.

For fairly recent graduates like myself, and for the generation of teachers to come, we face a sticky situation. The students in our care are likely to see the end of this century, if not the next. How will our education system adequately prepare our students for a largely unknown world?

The title of the lectures will appropriately be called “The Classroom of the Future”.

The idea of any classroom of the future is a daunting prospect. Where will learning take place? Who will be involved in learning? What will learning be “defined” as?

One thing is clear. The only constant of the future will be change. With that, technology will continue to have an evolving impact on the world as we know it, and bring with it both positive and negative implications that are associated with it. One only needs to step back briefly and appreciate how quickly technology has developed in the last 40 years, to the technologies that are beckoning to us in 2014 to realise that it is almost impossible to predict the world and technology in the decades to come.

It is imperative that we start focussing on the rich technology available now and the opportunities that it provides, as well as sound pedagogies that maximise student outcomes and genuinely prepares them for an evolving world in which we can only dream about. Let alone the future, our current work force demands it of us. However, empty promises and lessons from the past teach us that technology as a tool does nothing by itself. It’s up to us, as educators of the future, to harness its true potential… and it’s time we started taking it seriously.

As part of this lecture, I have updated our school’s progress of Genius Hour after some recent work with Notosh’s Tom Barrett. I truly believe, that the Genius Hour model is just one way in which students are appropriately engaged with school, and fosters the cognitive skills required for the current and future work force. This reflects the ideas of Ewan Mcintosh, of developing problem finders and not problem solvers, Guy Claxton’s Three Rs and Three Cs on the point of school, and Dan Pink’s Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose of performance.

Both sets of slides can be found below

The Classroom of the Future

GeniusHour @ St. Mark’s Primary School