learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Education in the Year 2020

on September 4, 2013

As I was reading the article “21 Things That Will Be Obsolete by 2020,” I found it difficult to envision the classroom Shelly Blake-Plock describes. It seems so different from the classrooms today that contain desks, computers, textbooks, homework, etc. I believe that Blake-Plock has both a modern and original standpoint that can help future educators to visualize what a future classroom could be like.

I found many of the points in this article to be ones that I could easily welcome into my own future classroom. One of the items listed that I found particularly interesting was the idea of grade organization. At Luther, differentiation is stressed in each education class and is found to be a must for future educators. I can see the benefits that can come from this, as students have various learning styles and interests. I believe this could allow teachers to get to know their students better, and in turn, address individual student needs. Along with this concept of differentiated learning groups, I enjoyed Blake-Plocks feelings toward desks. There are many different types of learners, and not all of those learners are able to learn simply by sitting in a traditional seating arrangement. Having different areas and seating that allow students to interact with one another and be comfortable seems like an obvious transition that should happen in today’s classroom. I also could relate to the part about professional development. Schools today are already beginning Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and creating other ways to continue professional growth. To me, this is important as an educator because of the constant change that takes place in the educational world. Another belief I have as a future educator is that parent-teacher relations are of the utmost importance. The relationship between a child’s teacher and his or her parent is one that will foster critical development both inside and outside of the classroom. Thus, I feel Blake-Plock’s understanding of tech integrated schools as ways to build upon parent-teacher relationships is one that is valid and necessary. Finally, language arts labs are an important part of this article. Having fun when at school allows students to love learning, and changing up the traditional classroom in a way that makes it interesting and exciting is a way that can help students love to learn.

Though there are many good ideas in the article, there are a couple of points Blake-Plock brings up that I struggle with. One of the points that is brought up in this article is that of digital books. Don’t get me wrong, I find items such as eReaders, Kindles, and Nooks to be nifty and tech-savvy. However, being the “bookworm” that I am, there is nothing quite like holding a book and turning its pages. I also feel as though Blake-Plock’s feelings about lockers is a little disappointing. Lockers, cubbies, and other spaces for students are places in which students take ownership about and learn organizational skills. If shared, these spaces can even help students to work together, share, and compromise.

Overall, this article addressed many educational aspects that have been staples for a long time. Thinking about the future of education is important. One can learn a lot simply from opening their mind to the new possibilities for both students, teachers, and schools.

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