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Class of 2029…wow

October 28, 2010

What I hope my daughter's school won't look like.

If my calculations are correct, Maddie will graduate high school in the class of 2029, which is something I find shocking. A few things I hope for how her school experience will compare to the school experience I live every day.

  • I hope that her school won’t still be talking about 21st century teaching and learning as if it is something new.
  • I hope the look and feel of her school experience will be something completely different than what I see now. If I can cite one failure of educational reform, it seems to be a failure of imagination. School today looks almost exactly like it did when I was in school, minus a cell phone on every kid’s ear (which they are forbidden to use to learn) and a smartboard here and there. I hope that when I walk into Maddie’s school, I won’t recognize much of what I see—no desks arranged in rows, no textbooks, and often no classrooms (wouldn’t that be amazing).
  • If Maddie studies physics, I hope she will have the opportunity to study ideas that were discovered in the past 100 years, a rarity in most physics classrooms, and certainly a failing of mine.
  • I hope Maddie’s education will filled with creativity, in all its many forms, but most hopefully, a sense of the incredible creativity that comes from thinking computationally, and that she will come to see the computer as a tool for expressing her imagination every bit as much as paint brush or pencil. This will not mean lessons in making powerpoints (who knows how awful powerpoint 2029 will by then—I imagine the cryogenically preserved Edward Tufte will still be helping us to see its many weakensses), keyboarding, or simply calling her a “digital native” because she was born yesterday (haha).To see what I’m talking about listen to Daniel Shiffam, a professor at NYU describe how computational thinking is a new window on creativity.

    Daniel Shiffman from Mark Webster on Vimeo.

Anyway, those are just a few thoughts of a pretty exhausted Dad, trying to wrap his head around what the future may hold.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 28, 2010 12:51 pm

    Where’s the “like” button?

  2. Tyler permalink
    October 30, 2010 2:46 pm


    These changes *should* be in place in the next 5 years (they won’t).

    I *hope* to see them in the next 10 years (I won’t).

    We need to make sure they become a reality before our kids leave the system (my youngest is due 11/11)!

  3. Mark permalink
    November 7, 2010 2:49 pm

    Hi, John. Have no fear. All you need to do is move back to Delaware and enroll Maddie in Newark Center for Creative Learning (NCCL). Everything that I do now with high schoolers is an attempt to approximate what NCCL does with middle schoolers. *humble sigh*

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