When did you last sit at a school desk?
Has anything changed since then? And what will the teaching look like in ten years? Is it floating hologram and virtual reality experiences or regular writing books in paper? We asked Harry van der Veen, CEO of Nuiteq, and Susanne Marklund, area manager for primary schools in the Skellefteå municipality, to tell us what the future looks like. One thing for certain, classrooms will look different.
Harry, at Nuiteq you work with programs for multitouch screens used in schools. Tell me what it’s like.
Multitouch technology is a touch screen technology where multiple people can interact with a screen at the same time. This means that students can work together in a completely new way. We create the learning program for these screens.
How are the screens used?
There are big and small screens; the larger ones are comparable to the teacher’s board, and the smaller ones with schoolbooks, but with more possibilities. The teacher’s board can, for example, show movies, present children’s work, or feature an education game to learn maths. With their screens, the children can work with the teacher’s screen by displaying pictures or using the learning program.
Will teaching as it seems today disappear?
It will definitely come, but it will take time. Already today, we see a lot of self-learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy. Students no longer need to sit in a classroom to learn, but may well find information on Wikipedia, YouTube, and the like. They can also reach their teachers online. I actually think that the future’s greatest teachers will be those who teach through YouTube. There is also a move from ordinary textbooks to digital tools. Traditional publishers have had their time already. The same thing happens at school. School books are becoming out of date. I recently read a good quote saying, “Technology will not replace teachers, but teachers using technology will replace those who do not.” I believe in that.
I am convinced that more and more schools will start using multitouch technology, but also technology in virtual reality and augmented reality. All these techniques create amazing learning opportunities. You can take a walk in Egypt’s pyramids on the history section or experience the rainforest to learn about biology. The possibilities are endless.
Susanne Marklund, how does Skellefteå municipality see the future learning environment?
At the moment we are desinging the new Floraskolan school at Morön, with an aim to create a bridge between today’s working methods and the future. So far, we have thought differently around the classrooms, which will consist of rooms of different sizes and shapes, as well as having different furniture solutions. We want furniture that promotes cooperation and communication and creates rooms within the rooms. This means that the classical school desks and benches will not be available at Floraskolan.
Will it be more digital?
When it comes to digital solutions, things change a lot and there is definitely more we need to do with our classrooms. It is a concern that the network is not stable enough at our schools. Teachers often need to prepare both digital and analog lessons in case the network fails. This is constantly improving the IT department. Digitization offers incredible opportunities for motivational and challenging learning. I hope and believe that all teachers at our schools in the municipality will use more digital technology in their teaching.