Learning 2030 includes participation from high-school students. This is how some of them envision the classroom of the future.
Hirad Zafari: When we think of the 21st century, immediately technology comes to mind – and rightfully so. As a member of “Generation Y,” I’ve grown up with scientific advances that my parents may not have even dreamed of when they were my age. Handheld smartphones today have computing power equivalent to that of the Mars Curiosity rover, which is the most complex machine NASA has ever sent to another planet, and a majority of students growing up in Canada have access to these devices. Unfortunately, while young people have done everything they can to keep up with technological advances, education has not. To bring education into the 21st century, we need to ensure that technology is fully integrated into the learning experience. We must use technology to bring the textbook to life and increase engagement inside the classroom, while ensuring that the resources that can be found on the Internet and accessed nearly everywhere are used more effectively, encouraging independent learning. While doing so, we must make sure that this technology is accessible to every single student.
Victoria Yang: The education system has not evolved quickly enough to reflect the fast-paced world in which we live. The problems with the system are numerous and deeply ingrained, but it is critical that we can identify them and re-evaluate the system’s objectives in a modern context. Children are growing up in a world of rapid technological advancement and globalization, and are inheriting an earth that has many current and anticipated challenges. To bring education into the 21st century, we need to engage students, integrate technology, and collaborate with educators. We need to foster creativity, global understanding, and a love of learning. Dragging the system off of the tracks of the Industrial Age is no simple task, but with the growing number of students and the rapid changes in the world, it becomes increasingly imperative that we do so.
Kourosh Houshmand: The first step in bringing education to the 21st century would be formulating a material vision for what we realistically seek to accomplish. Education is an acutely interconnected system – comprised of what I identify as its six factors: teaching, learning, evaluation, collaboration, competition and, of course, technology. The most effective education model will be one that creates the greatest interdependence between all these ‘educational factors’– and for this, reform is not enough. We must seek an educational overhaul.