School of the Future

By Deane Barker on September 7, 2006

Windows HS: Microsoft designs a school system: Microsoft helped the Philadelphia school system modernize in a pilot program.

Students — who are called “learners” — use smart cards to register attendance, open their digital lockers and track calories they consume. They carry laptops, not books, and the entire campus has wireless Internet access.

Teachers, or “educators,” rather than using blackboards, have interactive “smart boards” that allow teachers to zoom in and out, write or draw, and even link to the Internet.

There’s no library, but an “interactive learning center” where information is all digital and a “multimedia specialist” will help out students.

Why did we need to rename “student”?



  1. First snow storms;

    Now hack attacks & blackouts, two more things kids will wish for on a Sunday night. On the serious side though, even before operational issues, there’s a host of pedagogic ones. A couple of the top of my head:

    • Laptops + LAN (+/-) Internet = distraction. Anyone who’s worked in a classroom can attest to the problems of maintaining focus in class. The tool becomes the point of fascination…

    • The incredibly destructive influence of powerpoint-type technologies over creative thought. The tool becomes the stultifier of imagination.

  2. I agree with you, Craig, to a point. I think computers in the classroom are destructive below a certain age. Younger kids need to think creatively, without the regimen that computers impose.

    There’s a point, however, when older kids need to shift their thinking to the analytic. Computers are fine to introduce beyond this point.

    When is this point? No idea.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.