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9.6: What is the future of education?

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Image 1

    Learning Objectives

    • Define a traditional classroom and technology integration
    • Distinguish the difference between traditional classrooms and technology integration
    • Explain why some reserved teachers are so reluctant to learn the trades of technology
    • Recall at least one Pro and Con of a traditional and technology integrated classroom
    • Form their own opinion on whether the Future of Education is the best approach for the kids of tomorrow


    Education is evolving so rapidly in the way of technology which makes it hard for the world to keep up. J. Johnson, C. Chapman and J. Dyer (2006) state, “The past three decades have seen the rapid development of new and emerging technologies revolutionizing the way we live, work, and learn” (J. Johnson, C. Chapman and J. Dyer, 2006, P.1). Education started off as a traditional classroom and is now integrating more toward technology based learning.

    Traditional Classrooms

    Traditional classrooms have teachers set in their ways and who have a system. These teachers have their own way of thinking and like to teach things a certain way. The classroom is set a certain way, the students read from the book, and there is little or no technology. Perhaps this does not have to be a bad thing. There are a few subjects that are difficult to learn through the computer, like math for example. Patrick Suppes, a great educator, gives his expert opinion on traditional classrooms: “Hearing lectures and listening to someone else’s talk seem to be almost psychologically essential to learning complex subjects, at least as far as ordinary learners are concerned” (Suppes, 1969, par. 4). Also a traditional classroom seems to be more regulated. Some teachers are not willing to change the way they teach, perhaps some students do not want to change the way they are taught by learning new technology.

    On the other hand, traditional classrooms often lack the technological aspect of education. Certain students need individual attention to learn or understand the material. In a traditional classroom, students who require more individual attention may be left behind. The opportunity for a customized learning experience is not as possible as it is in a technologically integrated classroom. The use of technology allows students to learn at a comfortable pace while integrating more collaborative learning tools, like group projects, that better simulate a real world environment. This classroom also frees the teacher to give more personalized attention to those who need it. “We need to continue moving teacher education away from the traditional sink-or-swim model of field experience…” (Zeichner, 2006, P.9).


    Click the link below to see a picture of kids in a traditional classroom before technology integration.

    Technology Integration

    "Across the nation, on the Web and in the home, classrooms are evolving beyond the traditional learning environment with alternatives that are no longer bound by geography and customary modes of operation" (Coxx, 2004). This integration of technology makes it possible for teachers to grow and more importantly, possible for students to grow. What is technology integration? “Technology integration is using computers effectively and efficiently in the general content areas to allow students to learn how to apply computer skills in meaningful ways” (Dockstader, 1999, P.1). Incorporating technology into the curriculum does not mean just teaching the students how to use the programs, but how to apply these software to real-world situations. Technology integration is having instruction drive technology, not technology drive instruction. In other words, technology should be used as a tool for teaching, not the focus of the lesson. Holland (2005) explained how a third grade teacher needed to teach her students to distinguish between fact and opinion according to the core curriculum (Holland, 2005, par.4). She taught the concept using a digital camera and a simple processing activity. The students took pictures of them, printed them out, and wrote five facts and five opinions about the picture. Her students got so much out of the lesson, like using analytical skills to decipher the difference between what fact is and what opinion is. This is a necessary real work tool they were taught in an entertaining way.


    Click the link below: The following picture displays a technology integrated classroom whereas the teacher had one of his/her students come to the front of the class to work out a problem on the smart board to better her understanding in a subject. A smart board is a computerized screen that functions just like a computer and allows you to touch the pull-down screen and write on it.

    Some people however, not just teachers, find it harder to adapt to the new technology. “For many adults, all this digital activity is a source of high anxiety” (Tapscott, 1999, P.7). For the younger generation who grew up with the technology, it is easier for them to make this transition. According to Holland’s article, some teachers that have been teaching in the traditional fashion for most of their career refuse to learn advanced technology. Not because these teachers do not want to prepare their students for the future, but because they find it difficult to incorporate technology into the curriculum. One teacher in Holland’s (2005) article writes, “I am not a computer person.” Then Holland goes on to say,”Well maybe you’re not, but face it-we live in a digital age-an age for which we must prepare our students. We weren’t all born knowing to double-click a mouse any more than we exited the womb reciting multiplication facts. We all learn in baby steps” (Holland, 2005, P.3). To some degree, people focus too much on the debate of how the student should be taught. The teachers are forgetting why they are here and are taking time away from the students learning by fighting the integration.


    The link below is from TeacherTube. It is a video on integrating smartboards into the classroom. The gentleman in the video is a music theory and technology teacher who expresses how helpful smartboards can be and insists every teacher have one in their classroom. The video also shows his class working on the smartboard. Check it out:

    Author's Opinion

    The intergration of technology into the classroom and using it the fullest potential will have a positive impact of increasing the engagement of the students in our classroom. I remember trying to keep myself awake in class because the teacher did nothing to keep me engaged in the material. I will incorporate much technology into my classroom so that my students will be able to experience hands-on and will be inspired to collaborate with other classmates. I think Suppes (1969) expressed it best when he said, “I would claim that the wise use of technology and science, particularly in education, presents a major opportunity and challenge” (Suppes, 1969, par. 1). However, just because I feel so strongly towards the use of technology and think it is the future of education, does not mean there is not more to be done. Technology is growing so quickly, there is still much we do not know and bugs to be worked out.


    Education has progressed immensely over the last fifteen years. It has gone from lectures and textbooks to digital cameras and computers in the classroom. Everybody is working together to make this transition from a traditional-centered classroom to a technology-integrated classroom. The future of education is the key to our children’s learning process and their opportunities ahead. “It is difficult to predict how education will change over the next decade let alone the next century, but there will most certainly be changes in pedagogies which more readily recognize the way young people learn with new technologies” (J. Johnson, C. Chapman and J. Dyer, 2006).


    Coxx, A. (2004). Moving out of the traditional classroom. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from

    Dockstader, J. (1999). Teachers of the 21st Century Know the What, Why, and How of Technology Integration. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from

    Holland, J. (2005). When Teachers Don't Get It: Myths, Misconceptions, and other Taradiddle. Retrieved February 1, 2009, from

    Johnson, J., & Chapman, C., & Dyer, J. (2006). Pedagogy and Innovation in Education with Digital Technologies. Retrieved February 5, 2009, from

    Suppes, P. (1969). Computer Technology and the Future of Education. Retrieved February 5, 2009, from

    Tapscott, D. (1999). Educating the Net Generation. Educational Leadership. Retrieved February 1, 2009, Vol. 56, No. 5, pp. 6–11. from

    Zeichner, K. (2006). Reflections of a University-based teacher Educator on the Future of College-and University-based teacher Education. Retrieved February 5, 2009,