Tracy Tindle- E-Learning and Digital Cultures

The Future of School?

Our imaginations shape the future.


Today we teach students not just mathematics and reading, but also how to think. Our goal as educators has always been to grow students with the capacity for unlimited potential. We want to give them the knowledge they need to succeed in the society they are growing into but also the skills to cope with the increasingly challenging and technologically advanced society they will be a part of. Now more than ever teachers are trying to teach for a future they may not be able to predict.


Digital immigrant, Digital Native or Digital Viking?
Amy Burvall's Digital Viking metaphor has a lot of valid arguments. We want our students to be fearless, to have purpose and to leave a lasting (positive) impression on the society they live in. The question is, will technology help or hinder this?


Utopia vs Dystopia- it's all about perception

The future of society depends on people. How people think, how they act and interact with each other. Whether our students futures will be utopian or dystopian will depend on the understanding they have about themselves, each other and the tools they use to influence and manipulate their daily lives.
Technological tools are increasing in our everyday lives and in the classroom. Already ipads and laptops are almost expected in many classrooms around the world. Students create just as much as they consume. They manage huge volumes of information and data on a daily basis. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr provide constant, live updates into what is happening around them. 'Viral' You Tube videos often are the only deciding factor in whether something is popular (Harlem Shake, anyone?!).

How our students make use of this instant knowledge will be determined by what and how they learn and how they think.
An example of Utopian (A Day made of Glass) and Dystopian (Sight) societies below show us even with similar technologies these societies are wholly influenced by people. The technology itself is not inherently good or bad, but relies on the user to provide an outcome. Our future is what we make it after all.

A Day Made of Glass


Sight from Sight Systems on Vimeo.

Can we afford to allow our students to embark into future society without the skills and attitudes needed to cope with its demands? If we teach the way we were taught, how can we expect our students manage in a society we cannot even imagine yet?

The Future of School?
Already in my classroom we use augmented reality, online resources, flipped classroom models, and touch screen technology to undertake learning. If this is what we do now, will this be the future of school?

Digital Artifact created by Tracy Tindle for E-learning and Digital Cultures EDCMOOC via University of Edinburgh & Coursera.