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How close are we to the Digital Classroom of the future?

As children and young people are surrounded by technology, both in and outside of education, it seems everything is going digital these days, including our classrooms and learning environments.

The conversation surrounding the ‘digital classroom’ of the future is consistently evolving as technological advances perpetually occur – seemingly at a faster rate than ever before. However, the way in which these technological developments are integrated into learning environments has wide-reaching consequences.

To safeguard future economic prosperity, the UK has to ensure that its curriculum helps students develop the skills that they need. If it doesn‘t, the UK may well find itself lagging behind other forward-thinking countries and their digitally-powered economies. Here, we discuss two key themes that look set to shape and drive digital education over the coming year.

What does a ‘digital classroom’ encompass?

Gamificatoin  is a classroom trend that has been gaining more momentum, investment and interest over the past few years.

A large influence in the development and growth in gaming in the classroom has come from the huge entity that is Minecraft, which already boats 100million users, and is now used by over 3,000 schools for teaching across the world!

This ‘game’ provides players with a platform to build structures in a 3D “free-roam” world, or watch videos and take quizzes on a specific subject. However the main takeaway from this is – the learning, students are gaining future-ready skills such as coding and programming (noted as the fastest growing industry). As mentioned the game offers players  a ‘free-roam’ environment, which can be excellent in some respects but without the guidance, meaning and aligned resources the knowledge and learning element can be a lost.

How do we enable the digital classroom?

The device mesh refers to an expanding set of endpoints people use to access applications and information or interact with people, social communities, governments and businesses. The device mesh includes (but is not limited to) mobile devices, wearable, consumer and home electronic devices. Or in a simpler term the mix of devices you are using on your network.

The idea of this web of connected devices has a chance, when implemented correctly, to really change education and the way in which we access education resources and associated materials. A fully integrated future will have a student’s work cloud saved and accessible across all of their internet enabled devices, allowing them to learn in whichever way best works for them and at times where previously their work wouldn’t be accessible. The device mesh will demand careful management as it moves forward to being a fully realised premise, with data accessibility and security key components to be managed. The use of technology is becoming widespread in education, from tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom to Chromebooks and cloud storage access for homework, so early signs that the device mesh may well become reality in the classroom are encouraging.

Implementation is the key

Gamification and the device mesh are just two of the current crop of technology-based trends that are being adopted in educational environments, across the breadth of the industry. But the technology is only half of the debate: for it to be fully successful, we also need to make sure that technology’s impact on learning is positive and measurable

­The integration of technology and devices into learning, is the component that stands at the forefront of the success from introducing new devices, capabilities or methods of learning in the modern classroom. Deploying such initiatives requires comprehensive and ongoing development and training to receive uptake and support from everyone.

We will look at Gamification, the Device Mesh and the Integration of Ed Tech on our blog over the coming weeks – so please keep an eye on our blog here.

You can also read our latest article on the Digital Classroom in Education Technology .

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