Intel Vision Video: Partial Picture of Blended Future

Brian Greenberg posted this little gem of a video from Intel. He said:

It does as good a job as anything I’ve seen to show some of what the future of education could look like. Thanks to some Photoshop/CGI they’ve skipped a few years of real school R&D to show us a lot of the elements of good blended learning that many of us are championing: using tech tools in meaningful ways, getting students to truly interact with each other through projects, “bridging” the gap between home and school, creating makers lab spaces, bringing outside subject expertise into the classroom, and generally integrating technology for powerful results.

The video shows some flipped classroom features; it looks like a playlist of experiences was send home on tablet.  The video also shows a blend on online and hands-on activity in the classroom.
However, as Brian notes, the video perpetuates many of the traditional elements of school: 27 students to a class, teacher in front of the “board”, traditional four wall classroom, etc. “In short, it focuses more on technology itself than on school redesign.”
Brian thought, “This scenario is a long way off and well beyond the budget of most schools.” But other than the wall size interactive white board and the 3D printer there’s little that teachers aren’t doing right now in hundreds of classrooms. The video showcases tablets with keyboard dock–a pretty good access solution rapidly becoming more affordable.
The video is blended learning in the broadest sense of multi-modal learning but not in my narrower definition of a shift to an online environment to boost learning and operating productivity.
I didn’t see much evidence of customized learning in the video–the sort of path differentiation for each student evident at School of One, the NYC math pilot (below).
There was not much evidence of team teaching or the blended learning strategies that are improving working conditions for teachers.  There was little evidence of leveraging talent with technology as outlined in detail in the school staffing models on
The toolset is rapidly improving and so is student access. One million teachers will go back to school in September with Edmodo powered classrooms. They will turn hodgepodge tech plus BYOD (bring your own technology) into a flipped and blended high access, high engagement classroom like this example from Colorado Springs.
There’s 25 months left to get schools ready for online assessment.  It’s a great timeline to make the shift to blended learning.

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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