From beanbags and touch screens, to a restructured model of learning, here's how connectivity will shape children's learning in 2016 and beyond.

According to futurist expert Professor Neil Selwyn from the Faculty of Education, Monash University, textbooks will no longer exist in the classroom within 10 years’ time.

 

There’s no denying technology has drastically shaped the education landscape and the way we consume knowledge.

Gone are the days where kids referred to encyclopaedia sets and the ‘paper-is-best’ model to study. Today, childhood learning has become more interactive, immersive and accessible than ever with increased access to fast broadband speeds.

As students and teachers increasingly rely on multiple connected devices in their day-to-day life, classrooms in 2016 will look drastically different to those a decade ago.

From beanbags and touch screens, to a restructured model of learning, here are some the ways in which access to high speed broadband services via the nbn network will shape children’s learning in 2016:

1. Digital textbooks for the digital classroom

According to futurist expert Professor Neil Selwyn from the Faculty of Education, Monash University, textbooks will no longer exist in the classroom within 10 years’ time.

Instead, children will be learning on connected devices, 3D digital-books and interactive touch screen blackboards to obtain knowledge. As well as this, changes to student assessments are well underway as the Government announces plans to implement the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) online from 2016.

This will mean as more students gain access to fast broadband, schools will shift attention from outdated paper-based learning techniques to teaching the online learning skills needed for students to excel. 

2. The ‘flipped learning’ classroom

As schools continue to invest in tablets, audiobooks and other connected devices for the classroom, this will encourage students to become ‘active participants’ in learning.

Instead of passively consuming information from the teacher, technology in the classroom will help shape the structure of lessons and invite children to become independent learners.

Some teachers say that the introduction of touch screens, tablets and interactive technology will reduce the amount of teacher talk and ‘flip’ the traditional concept of learning.

Students can proactively obtain information before sharing their findings to the teacher and fellow students. This newly created concept of ‘flipped learning’ redefines the way students understand and access information.

‘Flipped learning’ isn’t a concept limited to the classroom – with the use of connected devices over fast broadband, families will be able to connect together and further explore the lessons learnt in class.

This will mean parents will no longer need shelves of textbooks in order to answer difficult homework questions!

 

3. Future of studying: A (virtual) reality check

It will come as no surprise that the future of childhood learning could incorporate virtual reality devices to offer a more immerssive study experience to students, inviting them into a world they haven’t explored before.

For example, teachers may be able to recreate a 3D rainforest in humanities class, or overlay the physical environment of an everyday classroom into a real-life theatre for aspiring musicians and thespians.

In addition, virtual reality devices may be especially useful for rural Australians as access to fast broadband becomes available.

No longer will schools be 8:30am – 3:30pm and kids would be able to take their classrooms with them, thanks to online lessons and real-time student to teacher communication. 

The future of childhood learning could incorporate virtual reality to offer a more immerssive study experience to students.

4. 3D-printed lessons!

For those visual thinking students, the increasing use of 3D printing could change the way they absorb information by bringing almost anything to life.

For example, science class may never be the same as budding archaeologists could 3D print models of historical artefacts, and get a closer look at the detail in famous sculptures and paintings! 

3D printing has the potential to take experiential learning to another level.

3D printing will allow students to enhance their critical thinking skills as they work and collaborate with others to recreate everyday objects.

For teachers, 3D printing will mean lessons instantly become a new world for children to observe and explore.

The sense of a ‘classroom’ is now anywhere in reach of an Internet connection, so students no longer have to explore all corners of the globe to quench their thirst for knowledge... the world is accessible to them at the touch of a button from their loungerooms at home!

Download the nbn™ Digital Parenting Report for an insight into the use of Internet technology in the home for the purpose of education. 

From education to 'e-change', take a look at how connectivity will impact Australian lifestyles this year... and beyond in our special blog series.

 

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