Smart schools: lessons for the future

Schools are preparing for the future in innovative ways. Photo: iStock

Schools are preparing for the future in innovative ways. Photo: iStock

In independent schools 20 years ago, it was rare to find a classroom with a computer and an old daisy wheel printer for students to use. Nowadays it’s rare to find a school, or its students, without some form of technology.

Laptops and iPads are the go-to learning tools in the classroom, students have internet connected smartphones in their schoolbags and some even more high-tech gadgets at home.

These advancements in technology are rushing ahead at breakneck speed and Melbourne’s independent schools are planning for the future.

They’re becoming Smart Schools – high-tech centres teaching students about this technology from early learning to Year 12.

Schools know that old fashioned lesson plans and computerless classrooms are not going to cater for students heading into a modern world of further education and a technology focused job market.

As researchers have noted, the jobs of students now starting school may not have been invented yet and half of the jobs that exist now will no longer be around. The world is becoming far more connected allowing not just education, but business, to be done online.

Smart Schools are focusing on this changing world, moving away from traditional classroom teaching to involve students in entrepreneurial pursuits, creative and critical thinking and focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

Teachers and students are employing new technologies to enhance learning at many Melbourne schools. They are investing in educators who can teach coding and those old daisy wheel printers have well and truly been replaced by 3D printers.

Schools have robotics laboratories, multimedia rooms and are using social media to connect to educators internationally, to parents, communities and the wider world.

Students are benefitting from a connection to information like never before and are preparing themselves for the new world – even using their social media as a way to present themselves for future jobs.

In this year’s edition of The Weekly Review’s Independent Schools Guide, we explore the ways Melbourne’s independent schools are dealing with rapid changes in technology, the globalisation of the workforce and future challenges students face entering this workforce.

The Weekly Review's 2017 Independent Schools Guide.

The Weekly Review’s 2017 Independent Schools Guide.

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