Future of the Classroom report: Thinking, connecting, innovating

  • To research the current state of K-12 education, to do it globally, and to create a thoughtful and fact-based prediction of what the future holds would take a lot of resources. But if there’s one thing Google has plenty of, it’s resources. And they put some of those resources to work this year to research and compile  such a study.

    “Future of the Classroom: Emerging Trends in K-12 Education” (global edition) is the result of a partnership between Google for Education and Canvas8, a consulting company that combines consumer research and cultural trends into forecasts and strategy. A team of researchers interviewed experts,  studied peer-reviewed academic literature from the last two years, and created a “narrative analysis” that together helped identify eight emerging trends in this report:

    • Digital responsibility: The desire of parents to have their children use technology in both creative and safe ways
    • Life skills and workforce preparation: The desire to include social and vocational skills in the curriculum along with core standards and testing
    • Computational thinking: The development of problem-solving skills that will remain for a lifetime
    • Student-led thinking: The creation of processes that will involve students more in aspects of their learning
    • Collaborative classrooms: The philosophical and physical redesign of schools to encourage collaboration and flexibility
    • Connecting guardians and schools: The need to involve parents and guardians more in their children’s school lives, using technology as a tool
    • Innovating pedagogy: The act of reducing and simplifying administrative work and encouraging teachers to innovate in order to engage their students
    • Emerging technologies: The need to keep up with new technologies in ways that enhance student development and classroom learning

    If you want to strengthen your teaching skills in one or more of the above areas, consider the following applicable courses from Dominican University of California’s Online Professional Development Program for your professional development:

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    Digital responsibility: EDUO 9138, Nourishing Responsible Digital Citizens. What exactly is digital citizenship, and how do you turn young users of technology into students who understand what being a digital citizen means? By incorporating the nine elements of digital citizenship (access, commerce, communication, literacy, etiquette, law, rights and responsibilities, health and wellness, and security) into your classroom while becoming knowledgeable about technology yourself. One semester credit/unit.

    Computational thinking: EDUO 9917, Brain-based Tools for the Classroom. Problem-solving skills are critical in today’s world. Course objectives include learning the concept of brain-based activities, designing classroom activities to encourage these skills, and inventing motivational strategies for the classroom. Michael Scadden’s 40 Engaging Brain-Based Tools for the Classroom “provides fun, yet effective techniques for introducing brain-compatible learning in the K-12 classroom and helps develop educators’ understanding of how the brain, mind, and body function in the learning process.” Three semester credits/units.

    Student-led thinking: EDUO 9890E, Learning Reimagined: The Potential of a Flexible Education. How do you create educational flexibility for both you and your students? How do you engage and involve your students at every level in the classroom without losing control? With lessons, activities, and projects that help you create a “learner-centered classroom,” where the lessons follow your students into their future lives. Six semester credits/units.

    Collaborative classrooms: EDUO 9789, Learning Spaces: Reshape Your Classroom. Does the way a classroom is arranged really have an impact on how students learn? Absolutely. The old model of desks in straight rows doesn’t promote collaboration or innovation, two skills so important to 21st century life and learning skills. Part of the course work includes analyzing and then redesigning your own classroom space. Two semester credits/units.

    Innovating pedagogy: EDUO 9793, Imagination, Innovation and Creative Problem Solving. Engaging your students is a constant challenge, especially when they are bright, busy, and accustomed to technology and multi-tasking. This course works with the book Sparking Student Creativity: Practical Ways To Promote Innovative Thinking And Problem Solving by Patti Drapeau; assignments focus on why imagination and innovation are so important in teaching, and ways to incorporate them into your classroom. Two semester credits/units.

    Emerging technologies: EDUO 9143, Creating and Maintaining the Technology-Infused Classroom. What are the technology resources available to your classroom? Do you feel like you’re meeting the needs of your digital learners? This course covers online tools, a tech-infused curriculum, education and learning apps, and how to weave technology into learning in a way that supports ISTE and CC standards. Three semester credits/units.

    To get more information or browse more course curriculum for Dominican University of California’s Online Professional Development Program, visit the website here.

    Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia