I saw a post by Sandy Speicher (IDEO’s Design for Learning) who works to help educators use design tools and methods to work in new ways, on the "designed" school day of the future.
On the same site, http://mindshift.kqed.org, another post by Shelly Blake-Plock back in 2009 shared his predictions
of things that will be obsolete in schools by 2020.
sees students "...reading in comfortable chairs... digging into a scientific research question by conducting readings on a nearby pond... working on computers refining their skills in math while others are sequencing DNA... collaborating around a design challenge with new friends across the globe... building, making, imagining, interacting, investigating, reflecting, connecting, shaping, participating. There will be challenge. There will be high expectations. And there will be tons of variation. With all of its possibility, the school day of the future will be one thing: it will be designed."
Both posts are looking at the same thing from different ends. For example, Shelly predicts that desks will be obsolete because "the 21st century does not fit neatly into rows. Neither should your students." Speicher sees them out of those desks and into the world.
While "language labs" will vanish (if they haven't already), world language acquisition will stay because it is "only a smartphone away."
You can either say that computers will be "obsoloete" or that our concept of what a computer is today will be gone, replaced by computing via handheld devices (phones, pads, tablets or the next thing). There may be more technology but less of an IT/tech staff because much of what those computers do and store has moved to the cloud and the need to support it will lessen. Maybe those positions can be used for real professional development in using the technology rather than maintaining it.
What happens to "homework" when the the temporal boundaries between home and school disappear? Will all students need to go to another building called a school to learn?
Will we see an end to college admission tests like SAT/ACT by digital portfolio reviews?
There are so many things - from lockers, to paper, to copiers, to teaching algebra in high school - that may disappear that the topic makes for an interesting one as we start a new school year. Check out the School Day of the Future series. And have good school year.