There’s a growing realisation that schools will be different for some time to come, even beyond the summer holidaysWe’re looking at the challenges and opportunities this presents in a series of blogs imagining the ‘classroom of the future’ and how to provide new learning experiences. 

The first article in the Classroom Of The Future series looked at the future of teacher training and development. The second one looked at how teaching and learning may adapt and change. The third looked at the opportunities to develop a new and engaging curriculum and the threats that face it when students are working in different places. 

This blog is about the opportunities to go beyond the classroomto transport students and teachers around the world and beyond and experience the best there is to learn – reflecting the initiatives that many students and parents have taken during lockdown moments.  

These could be done as class activities or shared through the new virtual learning environments all schools and students are using.

Classroom of the future

1. Remote exploration

This article highlights ten overseas links that bring the world into the classroom  from trekking Machu Picchu to diving in the Maldives – involving local experts in many of them.  

2. VR and augmented reality at school or home! 

More and more schools have been booking virtual and augmented reality experiences in school through companies such as ClassVRThese new learning experiences can happen in school, but could we see them happening at home as well, with students using simple tools like Google Cardboard?  

3. Stronger local community connections

Many of the initiatives started in lockdown were actually based in local or school communities, deepening the work that all schools will do in their communities. These include befriending and volunteering schemes (such as this one)lockdown gardening and many more!  

4. School and trust specialisms 

With the move towards more centralised curriculum provision outlined in our last blog, there is more opportunity for individual schools and trusts to develop their own expertise to meet local needs or reflect their teachers’ expertiseOrmiston Academies Trust wrote about their journey in this recent article in Schools Week 

5. Real-life practical experience

School laboratories and technology rooms are often full of old-fashioned equipment and the skills taught are equally out of date (do real research scientists use Bunsen burners for example?). Companies such as GSK and organisations such as the Royal Society of Chemistry have created innovative virtual practicalsThere’s even a project that brings labs to schools! And in IT why not take on a Raspberry Pi project and produce something real?

6. Global micro-qualifications 

This prescient article shares headteacher Mark Steed’s views that formal academic qualifications will only be part of what students need to succeed in a global marketplace – and taking short courses from anywhere in the world will make you stand out! Mark shares his experience of taking an ‘Elements of AI’ course from the University of Helsinki! 

The Classroom Of The Future is a series of blogs that discusses the future of classrooms and the overall school landscape, and how technology will play a vital role in helping teachers and school leaders be on top of these changes. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to receive the whole series and the final guide book at the end.