10 Keys to Designing the School of the Future
Most people agree that our current schools are severely outdated. Many instructional designs are still organized around the antiquated, inefficient and ineffective factory model.
School design doesn’t have to be that way, and some innovators are already creating visionary schools.
If you want to create the school of the future, you must incorporate these ten keys:
- Use tools, not programs. Edtech is a whole lot less about the program and more about the tech tools. Technology can give students access to experiences. Schools of the future, like the C.T. Academy in McKinney, Texas, give kids the access they need to tech tools. Designed as a learning center of the future, the Academy relies on more than edtech access alone. It uses edtech to build experiences.
- Take collaboration beyond walls. Students in a school of the future will capitalize on peer learning in new ways. Learning groups will go beyond classroom walls and the school building’s boundaries. Schools will be global learning networks.
- Focus on clicks, not bricks. Great schools were never about the building itself. They’ve always been about instruction design. Designers of future schools will optimize connectivity and minimize classroom space.
- Allow flexible hours. Students have peak learning times throughout the day. A flexible schedule allows students to be in school when they learn best, not necessarily when it’s best for the adults working with them.
- Permit remote learning. Students living in remote areas can have access to premier schools through remote learning capabilities.
- Offer self-paced learning. Students customize their education plans, and they move ahead at their own pace, similar to how the Steve Jobs School in Amsterdam facilitates instruction.
- Move beyond the status quo. Socioeconomic status or political platforms won’t hold students back.
- Create experiences. Authentic learning comes about as a result of hands-on experience. It’s holistic, like the internship projects at Big Picture Learning.
- Include more STEM activities. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics instruction is hands-on learning, and STEM lessons engage students by using a variety of instructional modalities.
- Be open to change. Our collective knowledge is doubling every two years; that time frame will decrease to 12 months. Learning and unlearning must occur as we drop past practices that no longer serve.
There’s no way to be certain of everything the school of the future will include, but technology will be at the center.