Alright party people, welcome to this beautiful blog of mine!
In the first day of class, I learned that over the course of this semester (and I guess the entire year?), we as a senior class of Engineering Psychology & Human Factors future professionals will be taking a deep dive into the future of education, affectionately coined the Classroom of the Future by our creative director, James Intriligator!
What is the ideal Classroom of the Future? Well, in class we looked at a variety of technologies, from the fancy Google Jamboard to ergonomic chairs to a strange video where faces were projected onto mannequins, which could then be used in theory for remote lecturers or people who want to virtually be involved in the class. I am not sure exactly what we will be focusing on (stay tuned!), but I suspect that it will involve a hands on approach where we spend time trying to gain empathy for classroom students, kinda like what Ford and IDEO did here. This means that we will try to get into a mindset of a student (ha! we already are students!), and look at their needs both inside the typical classroom environment and outside in their daily lives (work-life balance, heard of it??).
While I have not landed on a particular topic yet, I was recently reading an article about Silicon Valley’s relationship with current teachers (linked here). Tech companies are scrambling to influence the Classroom of the Future, determined to be ahead of the curve and slip their latest educational tech into classrooms. Because of this desire, they have begun to recruit top teachers and essentially sponsor their classrooms, giving them free access to the next generation of learning devices in exchange for vital user feedback. I think that this is going a little far, as this both creates conflicts of interests for teachers and also a slippery slope for school districts that are unlikely to reject the advances of large corporations like Amazon, Google or Microsoft.
Just something to think about! More to come after next class…