Thursday, 5 October 2017

We have the technology...We can build Schools of the Future

We have the technology...We can build Schools of the Future
#IMMOOC #IMMOOCTVDSB Innovator's Mindset Season 3, Week 2

I may be dating myself here, but when I read George Couros' prompt this week,  asking us to blog about what a school we built from scratch would look like, the opening to a classic Seventies t.v. show: The Six Million Dollar Man, starting playing in a loop in my head.  In my defense, I was very young when this show aired.  Have a listen, but it goes like this...

"Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.  We have the technology.  We have the capacity to make the world's first bionic man.  Steve Austin will be that man.  Better than he was before.  Better, stronger, faster."

So, I asked myself why this particular ear worm was taking up space in my brain and why my dendrites and synapses were connecting it to my school of the future.  This is a topic I've thought about and explored a great deal in the last year or so.  I teach in a 90 year old building with declining enrollment, one that may well be replaced with a new school very soon.  As someone who may be working in a school built from scratch in the near future, I've given a lot of thought to how I hope that new building will look.  I also recently took a course on Technology in the Classroom through Western University in Ontario, where we were asked to think deeply and plan not only our classroom of the future, but a school of the future as well.  If you want to dive a little more deeply into my thoughts on this, check out my post from January 2017 on Designing a classroom of the future and my March 2017 Post on Schools of the Future and the Internet of Things.

To give you the short version of my vision, it would include:
- flexible, sustainable, learning environments where Inquiry Learning is the norm, not the exception
- Internet of Things Technology that meets the needs of all learners and runs seamlessly (with WiFi that never goes down, 1:1 devices that either don't break down or are instantly repaired by IT Robots)
- Innovative Educators that are facilitators in an engaging and passion filled classroom, helping students find their own questions to explore and reflect on
- Makerspaces, Learning Commons, and Community Partnerships
- a culture where taking risks is expected and failures are just steps on the journey to empowerment
- World wide connections through activities like the Global Read Along, IMMOOC's, online learning and charities that show our students that they can make a difference in this world

If I was writing the opening theme to my Six Million Dollar School, it would go something like this:

"Everyone, we can rebuild our schools.  We have the technology.  We have the capacity to make Schools of the Future.   Our schools will be ready for the next century.  Better than they were before.  Better, Connected, Innovative."

Students would be banging down our doors, begging to come in and learn.  I wanna teach at THAT school.


  1. I love the six milllion dollar man reference and how you tied it in at the end! Better, connected, innovative. If only... I guess we all strive for this taking one day at a time and being better, connected, and innovative in our own classrooms!

    1. Thanks Catherine! One Day at a Time...another great 70s tv reference! So true, we forge ahead each day!

  2. I love the learning commons idea. We have one hidden behind a desk in the library such a shame.