I posted a comment (see below) on Elliot Masie’s temporary blog Classroom of the Future. Elliot’s question: “If you were to design a brand new type of classroom for your organization, what would it contain?”
What is the bedroom of the future? What is the bathroom of the future? Each has “stuff” in it designed for a specific purpose. The bed of straw becomes a bed that forms to your body and is fully adjustable the stuff in the room becomes smarter. The outhouse becomes high-tech and is equipped with a combination portable music player and toilet paper dispenser and has heated seats. But none of this stuff changes the purpose of the room.
Historically, the room in which classes are held has been a room with more and better stuff in it. We started with chairs, desks, and a chalkboard and now see smartboards, videoconferencing, interactive devices, LCDs, etc. But it doesn’t change the purpose of the room – to provide a physical space where learning can take place.
Perhaps the toilet of the future is not a toilet at all. Perhaps the green movement will lead to innovations that make the toilet obsolete. Will we say, “remember when we needed all that plumbing?” And maybe the classroom of the future is not a room at all. Will we say, “remember when we all went to a room to be trained?”
It seems to me we are returning to the way we used to learn – out in the open world but with more, and different stuff.
My question: Do we need to provide a physical space where learning can take place?