Yesterday it was the closing day of the BETT 2011 event , the biggest UK (it’s held in London) trade show for education. Over 600 exhibitors displaying the latest educational technology : Web interactive board, tablet PC, robot for homework and many other things that let you think that the future is too close.
Take a look at the videos on BETT on YouTube to get a glimpse on the many innovations presented there.
I liked this one on Lego Mindstorm, because it emphasizes how playing and manipulating can enhance the learning process.
But how much close is that kind of future?
It’s now clear that ebooks, and the availability of devices that enables a good user experience in reading and studying are fundamental elementsfor an evolution in learning processes .
Ministries, publishers, teachers, device and technology vendors well understand this concept and all over the world initiativeswith the objective to understand how to use these technologies and the ones coming in the next future to improve the learning processes and to foster the evolution of school through new paradigms are mushrooming.
The Future of Learning project goes in this direction and want to understand in advance how future will definitely transform education and learning, by exploiting the opportunities offered by the web and new technologies in an increasingly pervasive way .
At the Future Centre in collaboration with the major Italian publishers in the school sector we are working on a trial in some Italian schools to experiment advanced learning : how could the school of the future look like. The publishers involved up to now are Zanichelli, D’Anna, Loescher and Pearson.
The trial is based on three pillars:
-The availability of digital contents: ebook, videos and other multimedia contents (provided from publishers)
-The availability of one device per each student (provided by the school)
-The availability of a web based learning platform that enables the courses’ management, the delivery of the lessons , other classroom activities and, last but not least the interaction, inside and outside the classroom between the teacher and students and the ones among students, using collaboration tools such as chat blog wiki andvirtual classroom.
The trial involves four classes belonging to the Cl@ssi 2.0 cluster in agreement with MIUR – document in Italian- (http://www.istruzione.it/web/istruzione/piano_scuola_digitale/classi_2_0)
Our goal is not to force the introduction on new technologies in the education processes but to understand how these technologies can improve these processes and enable a better way of learning.