Saturday, October 28, 2006
I think that there is going to be a sea change in the way we teach in the next few years and I believe that this will depend on three factors: Cheap laptops, mobile phones and easy access to the internet via wifi.
If Negroponte's $100 dollar laptop comes a reality and wifi networks follow the same kind of growth patterns that mobile phone use has in say, Africa then we are about to see a revolution in the way every subject is taught. I think that this change will take place in foreign language teaching first as the subject is all about communication and so less burdened by a prescriptive curriculum.
The ability to freely download excellent materials combined with the opportunity to talk using voip and write to other all over the planet with web tools such as blogs or wikis will mean that everyone will be plugged into one global classroom. A wall - less teaching space in which the only limits are the imagination of the teacher and student.
Mobile phone features such as mp3, audio recording capability, digital and video cameras and the like will soon become standard features on even the cheapest models. As a result students will have the ability to create more than just text for the web. Once again the teaching and learning opportunities are endless ( see here for some ideas of my own). Podcasting, vlogs, blogs and wikis are just the beginning, once a billion extra internet users enter cyberspace, imagine what riches they will bring, what stories and ideas will flow through the net.