Editor's Note (The View From Here)

Do We Have the Right Models?

I spent most of last week in Kansas City at the EDspaces Conference and Expo, the annual conference put on by the Education Market Association. The theme and main topic of discussion among the attendees was The Future of Education Facilities. No matter where you were, you heard discussions about how to accommodate 21-century teaching and learning models, collaboration, the classrooms of the future, and preparing students for the workplace. Granted, that is what we have been talking about for a while now, but when you have that many people gathering to work toward a common cause, you will almost always come away with some new insights, ideas and unique ways to address the issues. I wish there was enough space to cover all of the innovative ideas and solutions that I saw and heard there, but that would not fit in even several columns. So, I am going to focus on just one of the presentations.

On Thursday morning, Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist, spoke at the Plenary Session. The title of his talk was “Iteration and Innovation in Education.” The reason I was affected by what he said is that I spend my time focusing on the mechanics and background forces that are, and will be, of great importance as we continue to improve the learning environment. But are we also considering some of the realities and asking all of the right questions? Here are a few of his thoughts that struck home with me.

  • The education system isn’t broken — you and I are proof of that — but we need to look at what is right with the present system and continue to tweak it.
  • Today’s students are members of the first true tech generation and their concept of learning is different. We must figure out how to take advantage of that?
  • In a world of constant iteration we need to teach critical thinking skills and we need to be teaching collaboration.
  • Predicting the ideal future classroom is not possible because the elements that will be involved have not yet been created.
  • Transformation has no end point, just a next version, and a next version, and a next version.
  • The future starts tomorrow.

It sounds to me like it starts right now.

This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of School Planning & Management.

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