International Symposium // Plenary session 4 // A vision for the future- roundtable
Greg Black, Director of Education.au was the moderator of this session, which included presentations from:
• Nancy Knowlton, SMART
• Kirsten Panton, Microsoft
• Frans Van Assche, EUN
At school level, ICT solutions are increasing but schools are not enough future-oriented and have to be encouraged. The discussions presented different visions of the way education could be in the future.
Nancy Knowlton from Smart said that a larger vision must be created and that it should flow down to every level of the educational system. Children are ready to learn and use new technologies in classrooms and, by 2020, technological material will finally take its rightful place in the classrooms.
Also, the role of teachers and learners has to evolve in the next years because the mode of teaching has currently started to break down in lot of schools all around the world. In the future, the students will cooperate more and more with their peers worldwide, they will take more responsibilities and teachers will move to the side and become more guides than mentors.
All the educational actors (teachers, students, parents, community, suppliers) should be involved and work together to define new ways of learning.
Nancy also underlined that more attention should be paid towards the developing countries, especially by funding their empowerment in ICTs. Every aspect (contents, teacher trainings, good practices) of education should be shared with developing countries at every level.
As getting to the global level is hard to achieve, she called for a deep commitment from teachers and administrators. Having the students involved is more difficult but it could help to spread a "positive virus" around the world.
Kirsten Panton, from Microsoft, showed a video which presented how the world could look like in the future, where technology will have an impact on all aspects of life and work.
To reach such a world, the assessment and curriculum, learning management, human capacity building have to evolve. Teachers have to be provided with good learning management tools and to make sure they have the good skills.
Frans Van Assche, Senior Manager at EUN, sais that there were similarities between ICT in schools and ICT in industry. A 2002 study showed that those who embraced change management were benefitting more from ICT, Frans believe similar results would be observed in education.
Another perspectives are interactions with others in educational context (relations with coach/mentor, subject/expert, the world etc), ICT is changing all that as we have seen in the 'Hole in the All' experiment where coach or mentors settle the scene but leave learners make their own learning paths.
Personalisation of learning is also an issue, but what type of personalisation: differentiation (like in Denmark) or individualisation. How much can learners self regulate themselves? What can be personalised: what should be learned and how it should be learned (learning materials, pedagogy...) ?
We are now going from technophobia to technologies acceptance, and it looks like a Copernican revolution : the teacher is no more at the center but aside, while the learner takes a more central position.
In 2020, will teachers be minute managers? This is a provocative line, in light of the announced transformation of role of educators from teachers to coach. Other trends for 2020 are the growing importance of peer learning and micro-learning, towards synchronisation and convergence of technology.
Sugata Mitra said that in the future, with the current trend of climate change, lack of fossil energies and terrorism, it could be much more difficult for the students to travel or even go outside, but on the other hand the communications will be totally free, schools would physically disappear by moving to home.