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School of the Future

Continuing the series of posts on changes in schools during this century, this post is a summary of forecasted changes in education in the next decade. It’s a thought-provoking list compiled from reports published by Institute for the FutureKnowledgeWorks Foundation, and New Media Consortium.

  1. Development of Adaptive Learning Tools and Resources – for ALL learners, not just special needs learners. Adaptive learning implies individualized, personalized learning. When considering instructional technology, focus will be on how it can support connected, continuous, relevant, and adaptive learning.
  2. Increase in Service Learnin projects focused on health, environment, education – with a deeper and more engaged role for students in leading these projects, aimed at instilling in them a sense of stewardship for self and environment.
  3. Innovation is valued in the world of business and will be embraced in schools. Schools will become important hubs of design knowledge, rapid prototyping, and problem-solving skills.
  4. With the amount of data continuing to increase, data visualization will become the norm to make sense of this information. This will require new skills in recognizing and understanding meaningful patterns. Students, teachers, and parents will need to become sophisticated at pattern recognition in order to create effective and differentiated learning experiences.
  5. Social media and collaborative tools will leave “data trails” of online interactions. Visible data picture of our lives as citizens, workers, and learners will be available anytime and online. School administrators and teachers will need to learn how to communicate and interact in this new world.
  6. Technology will become a means for empowerment, a method for communication and socializing, and a ubiquitous, transparent part of our lives. Educational discourse will take place in online public forums and spaces as “educitizens” share the status of schools and educational decision-making, resources, and activities in their communities.
  7. Digital natives and empowered educators and students will challenge traditional ways of organizing learning. There will be changes in the architecture of schools. We will witness growth in alternate forms of learning.
  8. With the need to be prepared for disasters and uncertainties, schools will work on building resilience into school systems and for creating lightweight, modular infrastructures to support the health and wellbeing of students, staff, and families.
  9. There will be increased interdependence between the school and the local community and businesses. Partnerships and networks will be essential and critical for building resilient school communities. Educator-business partnerships will grow to develop learning content.

There are many important and challenging questions to answer. . . What will the “school of the future” look like? How will learning be organized in this school? How will stakeholder roles evolve? . . . Would be exciting to paint a picture of this school! And then build it!


author credits

Educator, Consultant, Presenter DR. SHABBI LUTHRA is empowering educators, students, & parents, & building powerful 21st century learning environments. She is currently the Director of Research & Development, at the American School of Bombay.

Image Source: Garry Knight

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