I left the undergrad education program of UNC-Chapel Hill 8 years ago, and it is amazing the new ‘hot topics’ (like inclusion & the iPod/iPhone/iPad revolution) that have evolved insuch a short amount of time. Then I began to wonder…What will I have learned in my master’s program that I will be obsolete in four years? Of course this blog is assuming we survive the mass destruction of 2012. If we don’t, the blog title changes to “We will be doing NOTHING in 2015.”
1. Reading books
I believe reading ‘real’ books and textbooks are going to be the first major aspect of the ‘traditional’ classroom to completely disappear. I completely agree with Jenny Williams in her Ode to Books. I love the smell of an old book, but despite our resistance to new technology, sometimes there is no choice. I remember my stubbornness of buying a DVD player. “There was no point!” I said, “These VHS tapes are so much cheaper!” However, they stopped making VHS tapes. I believe this to be true of books. In addition, as the technology becomes more mature, as Adrian Short points out in his blog, the pros of eBooks will eventually outweigh the cons. The convenience of carrying a kindle or nook over a book bag full of textbooks is a huge advantage. Before long, everyone will have a device that already supports eBooks (if you have a Smartphone, you already do), and they will be cheaper to buy, as they are cheaper to make. And as we all know, money talks.
2. Going to class
Freshmen everywhere will still roll out of bed minutes before class, will still be in their pajamas, but now they won’t have to put on shoes! Online classes are the wave of the future. As gas prices rise, more people will opt into school at home. I do believe K-12 will still have more traditional face-to-face classes, but universities and colleges everywhere have already started converting entire degrees online. The debate has been raging for years, some say no, some say yes, and some, like Donna Niemi Barrett, say that a blended learning environment is the best way. I disagree* with Ms. Barrett, I believe, that if done well, elearning in higher education will make traditional classes archaic, as its effectiveness is shown in the U.S. Department of Education’s study Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning
*My disclaimer to the above disagreement is that the online instruction MUST be done WELL.
3. The SCORM Storm
As we move into more only online classes, the words SCORM compliant are suppose to stamp your elearning course with a little gold star. However, as it is starting to be discussed, as Stacy Clayton accurately blogged, SCORM only ensures the learner can review your online class. Not that it is any good. In addition, with its decade birthday, ADL is already on pace to revamp or replace SCORM with the ingenious and unambiguously titled “Project Tin Can”.
Just kidding! Facebook will be the only thing that survives 2012 (I am sure the Mayans predicted that too.)
What do you think will be gone in four years?
Logan Prevette has been an elementary school teacher for the past eight years, working with second, third, and fourth graders. All of her students read ‘real’ books, go to class, and are SCORM compliant J; however, not in four years. They will be at home, on their kindles, conversing with tin cans. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina in 2003 and is working on her master’s degree from the University of Memphis in IDT. She plans to stay in education (in some fashion) after the completion of her coursework.