Across the country, the school year is drawing to a close. Students are taking tests and packing up their backpacks. They are counting down, as they always do, to the last day of class. Though no comparable countdown exists, what is also drawing to a close is the analog era of education.
Digital-age broadband and cloud computing are not only revolutionizing our economy, they are transforming education as we know it. In time, traditional classroom teaching tools like blackboards and books are bound to be delivered through high-speed bandwidth. This means students learning about cell technology through a digital rendering in an interactive book. It means using gaming to explore math concepts like the Pythagorean theorem. It means developing videos to experience historical events.
If all this sounds gee-whiz and futuristic, consider that these changes have already taken place in so much of our lives. The smartphones in our pockets, growing ubiquity of tablets and arrival of big data have brought us always-on connectivity and endless access to information. They have revolutionized the way we communicate, connect and create at home and at work. It’s time for a similar upgrade in the classroom.