Computer roomsThe idea of taking a whole class to a computer room with outdated equipment, once a week to practice their typewriting skills and sending them back to the classroom 40 minutes later, is obsolete.
Computers or technology shouldn’t just be a specific subject, that’s not sufficient anymore but rather it should be an integral part of all the subjects and built into the curriculum.
Schools that don’t have WiFiSchools that don’t have a robust WiFi network for staff and students are not only missing a big change for teaching and learning but robbing the students of access to knowledge and also limiting their chances to learn about the internet and using technology in a safe way.
21st century schools make it possible for students and staff to learn anywhere, anytime and schools that don’t allow that are obsolete.
Isolated classroomsClassrooms can be isolated in two ways. One where parents, teachers or guests are not welcome because the door and drapes are always shut… which has the words “Don’t come in here” written all over it. The other way is being isolated to all the knowledge outside the 4 walls. For example from the internet, videos, blogs, websites and visits from authors or scientists through Skype, to name a few.
Tony Wagner, the author of the Global Achievement Gap says: “Isolation is the enemy of improvement”. The classroom should be open, teachers should be able to walk in and learn from each other, parents should visit often, f.x. with so called Extra Open Schooldays (where all parents are encouraged to visit classrooms anytime during the day). Isolated classrooms are therefore obsolete.
Banning phones and tablets
Taking phones and tablets from students instead of using them to enhance learning is obsolete. We should celebrate the technology students bring and use them as learning tools.
Phones are no longer just devices to text and make phone calls… when they were, then banning them was OK. Today there is more processing power in the average cellular telephone than NASA had access to when they sent a man to the moon in 1969. Yet most students only know how to use these devices for social media and playing games.
Today you can edit a movie, make a radio show, take pictures, make posters, websites, blog, tweet as a character from a book, have class conversations over TodaysMeet and Google most answers on a test with the device in your pocket. We should show our students the learning possibilities & turn these distractions into learning opportunities that will reach far outside the classroom.