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Five Years is a Long Time

Five years ago, I started my current teaching job.  We were starting up a Middle School program at a Quaker School which had historically been K-6.  It was an exciting time for many reasons, but mostly because of the technology we were getting.  Coming from public school, I was thrilled to be part of a 1:1 laptop program, use Quizelt, have a SmartBoard and be able to utilize email to communicate with students.

Today, all that fancy stuff seems pretty passe.  Now we have Chromebooks AND iPads, Google Classroom, Pear Deck, nearpod, and Genius Hour.

I am bad with imagining the future.  I can adapt to change quickly, but I have trouble predicting it.  But if you think about how much the landscape of school has changed in the last five years, the next five years seem filled with capabilities that I can't even imagine.

Still, there are some things I know we should move towards and somethings we should reconsider...

Ideas and methods we should reconsider:
  • direct instruction
  • traditional homework
  • early start times for adolescents
Things we should be moving towards:
  • game based learning
  • student centered learning - what, where and how
  • authentic collaboration for teachers and students
  • student led seminars
  • opportunities for connections between students and authors, scientists, historians, mathematicians and writers
  • field experiences - going out into the real world to intern
  • more effective differentiation for skill and interest
  • cross-curricular learning
It is both exciting and overwhelming to ponder what schools will look like in five years.  But my very best hope is that they look markedly different from the way they look today.


  1. Great post. With things moving as fast as they are, I think it's impossible to predict what education will look like in five years. At least we are in motion! I agree with your things to reconsider and am excited by your things to move toward. As we begin to integrate technology in a deeper way, I think many of us are also realizing that collaborative skills are more important than ever - for the kids, but for the adults as well. In my department, we are at various levels of comfort and experience using technology. We are really working together to support one another, be open about our needs and fears, and move forward together.

  2. Collaboration truly is something that is becoming a lost art. An excellent ponder-point for me to add to my Habits of Mind obsession. Thanks!


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