November 25, 2011

Tomorrow's school won't be all THAT different

A blog on San Francisco PBS station KCEQ, reproducing a "paperless teachers blog," says the 21st century classroom (cue music signifying breathlessness) will have 21 differences from that of today.


I'd say one-third of the claimed differences will not come to pass. By number in the original list, here's the sure-fire wrong predictions.

3. Computers. Sorry, but due to screen size and ease of writing and typing among other things, traditional computers will still be the primary electronic learning portal.
4. Homework. I just put this one here because of the "24/7" breathlessness.
5. Standardized tests. They'll still be around. Easier to grade than "digital portfolios," which may be an adjunct, like, say, community service.
7. Fear of Wikipedia. The author doesn't mention the need for skepticism in how to use Wikipedia, or problems it can have. (The need for teachers to teach students about the corporatization of the American classroom of 20 years from now also goes unmentioned by the blog author.)
10. Attendance offices. The blitheness with which the blogger welcomes bioscans is scary.
11. I.T. departments. Cloud-based computing, so far, has not proved to be inherently more secure than networks and servers, individual Internet usage, etc. No, I.T. departments will still be here.
And, I could quibble with others, but ..
21. Paper. The idea that schools will eventually use 90 percent paper is not only wrong, it's recycled AND wrong. This claim was made nearly 30 years ago, when personal computers first started to proliferate into the workplace.

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