Do you remember your school days? Those memories may encompass chalkboards, textbooks and overhead projectors. Yet one peek into a modern classroom reveals the generational leap that academia has made since the arrival of the digital age.
The chalk dust and clunky CRT tellies have disappeared in favour of smart boards and YouTube. In some schools paper textbooks have been ditched in favour of tablets. It’s only the beginning; as technology advances, so too will the learning tools available to school children, as they progress through their education. The classroom is on the brink of a major upgrade.
Take homework, for instance – no longer a paper-based chore scribbled hastily into some exercise book mere moments before deadline. The current model takes it online. Students log in to sites such as Mathletics and complete tasks to show their aptitude. It’s easy to submit answers, reduces the likelihood of cheating and fires the results straight to the teacher. It’s the first step towards learning’s next phase: a greater emphasis on social interaction.
The classroom community
The classroom of tomorrow is a community brought together by smart technology: students and teachers exchanging ideas, theories and answers on a shared platform via tablet devices, connected to the classroom’s smart screen. It’s a collaborative process that encourages participation and identifies and corrects problems immediately – a hive mind of peers working together to achieve better results. Expect instant feedback and grading that’s available to all, without letting disenchanted pupils slip through the system.
A gear towards an online community is set to super-charge education for the next generation. Missed lessons can be caught up in Google Hangouts or made available via encrypted YouTube videos. The curriculum, schedules, deadlines and objectives will all be streamlined in a database, accessible to students, teachers and heads of subject. It’s education’s attempt at an all-encompassing and inclusive approach, that makes sure no one feels left out or isolated.
Enquiring young minds
The key to this evolution is engagement. Capturing attention and putting it to good use. One way to grab students’ focus is to provide a tangible, hands-on approach to learning; to realise the practical application behind the theory. Rote learning takes the mind only so far. Demonstrating the practice behind the theory locks in that knowledge. One tool for doing just that is SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids. It’s an intuitive ecosystem of apps that breaks down the design and engineering process into easy-to-use bite-sized pieces. It’s engineered to get young users’ minds and creativity in top gear. With simple tools backed by hard science, Apps for Kids is a pick-up-and-build creation tool that fires the imagination and gets them creating and designing in a fun-filled way.
The connected classroom…
Creativity. Connectivity. Engagement. The classroom of the future bridges the ethos of instant information with the emergent technology of the present. As social media seeks to connect us ever-closer, so too will education draw together the community of the classroom. Synchronised diaries, timetables and shared learning experiences, brought together by the practical applications of smart tech. Class dismissed.
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