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The Future Classroom

What does the future classroom actually look and feel like? How does it work and what does it do? How do its participants interact with it and what is the real value? Many organisations, training companies and professional bodies are all grappling with this question.

Until recently, up to date innovative tech cost lots of money. The laws of economics were hard to ignore, early adoption of new tech which involved huge sums of capital to develop cost its early adopters dearly for the privilege of being first. The education sector historically has always been running close to the bone in terms of cash flow and innovative tech was just always out of reach except for the most successful organisations.

Well things have changed. The latest tech is now well within reach for all of us. For example the latest cutting edge design software is now available free of charge from many providers with large multinational tech giants recognising that global adoption is far more important and valuable than short term revenue generation.

Let's look at what the future classroom could look like...

Over the last 10 years I've seen many so-called innovative learning methods which are nothing more than sales pitches for the latest piece of re-engineered 'same old same old' tech. Putting a powerpoint on to an LMS with a voice over and a chat box to a tutor is not innovation. Adding cartoons to a video may engage your audience for a few more seconds but does it actually embed the learning? Even virtual reality doesn’t hit the mark any more, it’s limited to the rate of technology advancement and lacks ‘reality’.

Firstly, the future classroom may not be a classroom, it could be a multi experiential learning environment. There may be no actual classes which I know will upset the Face 2 Face purists amongst you, there may be a learning community running 24/7 and so a more appropriate title would be ‘Future Learning Environment’ FLE.

Let’s look at the vast variety of ways in which people of all ages now learn and develop competencies. Learning now starts the second we open our eyes in the morning with the smartphone.

Then we have automatic filtering of news, social media posts, work project updates, emails and a myriad of other competing information which is all cleverly personalised by the major tech giants to influence our core behaviours. Before we even leave our beds in the morning we have digested the equivalent of a whole days learning in a traditional face to face format.

Throughout a typical day we are now digesting many times the amount of data we did five years ago. Being able to quickly and efficiently filter this data down to that which is useful and relevant has now become a valuable skill.

Forbes Magazine or just 'Forbes' as they now like to be referred to regularly publish its top 10 future skills for industry. One of the skills growing in importance is Cognitive Flexibility (more on this in our separate blog post on the subject) but needless to say, the days of having things like 'emotional intelligence in your competency matrix are numbered!

So what do we need to consider when looking at the classroom of the future?

  • Peer to peer learning

  • Micro learning

  • On demand learning

  • Digital transformation AI/Machine Learning

  • Lean learning

All of the above are worthy subjects of an individual blog post - watch this space. For now, feel free to connect/comment with your thoughts, ideas and insights.

Thanks for reading!

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