Shelly Blake-Plock, writing at TeachPaperless, published an article a year ago predicting that 21 well-known classroom technologies, techniques and policies would be extinct by 2020. They included:
- Language Labs
- The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions
- Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher
- Fear of Wikipedia
- Attendance Offices
- IT Departments
- Centralized Institutions
- Organization of Educational Services by Grade
- Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology
- Paid/Outsourced Professional Development
- Current Curricular Norms
- Parent-Teacher Conference Night
- Typical Cafeteria Food
- Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering
- High School Algebra
Details of his predictions are at the link.
I was reminded of his predictions by an article on MLive.com. The article looked at the replacement of ‘snow days’ by ‘e-days’ to make up for lost classroom time.
Miswsissiawa Valley schools in Ohio are studying replacing snow days with “e-days,” where students can carry out classwork from home on their computers.
Online education is picking up steam at both the K-12 and college levels, several experts told me this month as we looked at evolving educational trends.
While virtual classes make it possible for schools to offer AP and other classes they might not offer otherwise, some districts are discovering other advantages.
Miswsissiawa Valley’s superintendent told McCown that teachers get special training and put together a number of online lessons in the summer, ready to go when bad weather arrives.
. . .
Experts say about a quarter of all students will be enrolled in Internet-based classes within five years, and at least half of all high school classes will be offered through computers before the next decade ends.
That could force a number of changes about what schools are like, including the start and stop times and calendar. Students, in theory, can learn from any where and at any time.
And access might not be an issue for much longer.
North Muskegon Superintendent Curt Babcock told me his district in February is distributing netbook computers to all 320 high school students. All will have Internet access and textbooks downloaded. Students will be able to download course information at any time.
“Only a couple districts are doing this now, but I think in five years this will be considered the norm,” he said.
There’s more at the link.
I’ve written before about the growing availability of high-level education courses on the Internet, free of charge. I think that mediocre, even ‘average’ teachers, will soon face online ‘replacement’ by better presenters, who will tailor their teaching methods to the new medium and engage students far more actively in the learning process. This, more than anything else, might be the decisive factor to break the stranglehold of the teachers unions on the US education system – something that’s long overdue.
It might also accelerate some of Mr. Blake-Plock’s predictions by several years . . .