Education Prediction – from 2004 to 2020
The Look and Feel of Schools in the Next Decade
Morse Code of the Millenium – Term Paper: Will DSL & Wireless Computing Redesign Schools of the
Future: The Look and Feel of Schools in the Next Decade
An Excerpt taken from a paper written as
An assignment submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirementsfor the class DCTE 740Telecommunications and Computer NetworksDr. Marlyn Littman, Ph.D., ProfessorSchool of Computer and Information SciencesNOVA Southeastern UniversitySpring Cluster 2004. Full paper can be viewed @ Morse Code of the Millenium:A Look and Feel for Future Schools
Implementation approach and guidelines
Livingstone (2004) stated that wireless connectivity has already changed the look
and feel of K-12 classrooms. With wireless computing, trips to the computer lab are not necessary, and teachers can cycle in and out of the classroom utilizing and sharing resources. Khirallah (2002) described a school utilizing the curriculum from K12 Inc in McLean, Va., which also provides management services. Delivery of all curriculum occurs over the Web via standard Internet Explorer or Netscape browsers. Flash, Real Audio, and Windows Media handle streaming media. The media is delivered using thin clients while applications remain on Sun Microsystems servers in McLean. Oracle databases handle student data, such as test results, and progress through lessons.
Can wireless computing provide curriculum, such as that provided by K12, Inc
Could students access their individual curriculum through wireless connections, either from home or at school, then utilize the time in school needed for hands-on or group building
Envisioning this technology at work provides us with an outlook on how schools
of the future might change. Picture this:
As the student enters the school building, his PDA automatically logs him into the wireless LAN and identifies him on either the wireless or Ethernet network. He text messages any friends that he plans to meet for lunch and makes plans for other social events.
The student’s homework, submitted to his teacher, has been graded by the computer or the teacher as he was enroute, so that when the student walks through the door to attend the hands-on activities for the class, the teacher can give immediate feedback, and guide the student to the next task. The teacher can also see at a glance which students have met the criteria for the task, and which need extra help or an alternative activity to be able to master the content or process, and can plan accordingly.
Most classes will involve time to collaborate with peers in planning, researching, and presenting solutions to authentic tasks dealing with the specified curriculum. As classes progress through the day, the student has utilized the PDA to access information through the wireless lab from any resources, such as the local museum, or government agency, or taken an online poll that aided the discussion in the class, or to take notes on what is happening in the class. New assignments are automatically loaded onto the PDA for
viewing at home in a comfortable environment.
Because the student has taken care of the reading and writing activities at home in a comfortable environment, most of the hands-on or group curricular activities can be completed in several hours, so the student has finished the classroom activities, and can move to the holistic activities, such as social, physical, emotional, or service activities mentioned above, after lunch. The classrooms are now free for students who chose to complete the holistic activities in the morning, to attend curricular-oriented classes. All
students leave the building with new assignments already loaded on the PDA, and can work on the research, reading, writing parts of the assignments in their own homes, while watching TV or listening to their choice of music.
From the school administrators’ point of view, this scenario might seem like it will be a headache. However, at the touch of a button, administrators can find any student in the school, as their PDA’s will have GPS software included (remember the earlier scenario of tracking the bus). Busses, too, will always be locatable. The computer will do schedules, and students will have input into their schedule, so if they are late risers, they can choose to attend classes in a building that offers the afternoon classes. In addition, all testing data, personal records, school data, and district-level data will be available for school-wide decisions, or budgeting questions. Asynchronous training modules deliver Staff Development, giving the administrator a well-trained staff, and fewer faculty meetings to attend. Delivery of faculty meetings occurs in the same manner, and faculty and administrators attend at their convenience, in their classrooms or from home.
In addition, the administration of the individualized student curriculum by the computer system, will free teachers from record-keeping (it’s all done by the database), and let them do what they do best – guide students through their own learning process by offering alternative lessons to just those students who need them. The curriculum software will identify student progress, so that students can advance at their own pace, without the pressures of having nine months to learn the materials. If a student chooses to work through the summer to complete coursework, then that student could be finishing school earlier, and joining the workforce, thus saving district money for supplying
teachers just to keep students in school for nine months.
With the new advances of DSL and wireless technologies, as well as many experimental things like learning objects, OS operating systems, customizable user login screens, voice over IP, and Smart Card technologies, schools of the 21st century are sure to evolve to fit into future scenarios such as the Jetson’s living room. The early technologists like Morse, Bell, & Marconi, may be surprised at all the advances made with their inventions today as they permeate our existence, but they would all agree that mankind has a long way to go before those inventions reach their potential!
Full paper can be viewed @ Morse Code of the Millenium:A Look and Feel for Future Schools