Students envision classrooms of the future for exhibit
June 26, 2012
By Lillian O'Rorke
Eight-year-old Sam Korostov envisions that 50 years from now, children like him will be attending class in a blimp covered in windows, with sky bridges replacing school hallways.
“It would clear so you can see the sun,” Sam said. Inside the classroom “smart boards” would be everywhere so that whatever word said aloud would automatically appear. “And you would never have to go to bed because the blimp would keep flying around the world.”
Sam is one of the 20 students in Mary Rusk’s second-grade class at Clark Elementary School whose submission will be featured later this summer at the “Classroom of the Future” exhibition in Seattle.
Pony rides for all
For part of the Seattle Center’s 50th anniversary celebration, young people of today were asked to predict what learning will look like for young people of the future. When Rusk heard about the project in April she said it sounded like something that would be right up her students’ alley.
If you go
Following the opening night, the Classroom of the Future exhibit will be on display at the Intiman Playhouse from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, Aug. 1-31. Tickets are free but capacity is limited. Reserve tickets at www.ticketmaster.com; type “Classroom of the Future” into the search.
“It really attracted me because of all the different components it involved,” she said. “I was able to incorporate all the different academic aspects … like reading, writing, research, communication and technology.”
Rusk gave her students two weeks to complete a project at home that answered the question: “What do you think a classroom will be like 50 years from now.” The children were welcome to use any creative format, like building a model, making a video, writing an essay or putting together a PowerPoint presentation. Once finished, the students presented their work to the class before Rusk submitted the projects for consideration by exhibition organizers.
“I liked it because we got to write what we wanted the future to be like,” said Lauren Ritchie, 8.
She wrote a paper that described her dream school. It would be shaped like a horse with lots of pets in the classroom and plenty of horses waiting outside for the children to ride during recess. For field trips and other lessons, she said, they would go on hikes and work in a garden.
Cafeteria food alternative
Nature and technology would go hand-in-hand at Amita Prabhala’s future school.
“It would definitely be like a tech school and each desk would have a computer. They would still have textbooks and pencils, too,” she said.
She explained that before she put her PowerPoint presentation together, she started out brainstorming with a paper and pencil. What she envisioned was a school surrounded by a lot of land and plants, where, she added, you could pick apples and roll down a grassy hill during recess.
“In class, here, I’ve been learning about plants and science, and that would be a good place to learn about them,” she said.
Classmate David Thomas also thinks schools of the future will include plenty of plant life. His presentation outlines plans for a garden with baby’s breath, carrots, cucumbers, poppies and pansies.
“What if there is no food in the cafeteria?” he said. “You could go into the garden and eat them. And the pansies, poppies and baby’s breath cleans the air.”
Inside, David’s school would have a laptop desk, he said, and a lot of technology that could be used to play video games.
“There would be no recess,” he said. “Instead of recess, there would be video games that are education, with no blood.”
Above the earth
Other students used technology to solve issues like lack of space. Sam’s blimp classroom was his answer to there being no more room on Earth in the future.
“Like in the Issaquah Highlands there are a lot of people and they could take up all the ground,” he said. “Parents would probably fly you in an airplane to pick you up.”
For Ruby Kresge, her classroom would be flying through space not because of overcrowding, but because there would be no Earth at all.
“The Earth exploded,” she said. Other major changes would be made to the school day, she said, to allow students more time to do all their assignments. “Kids would go to school for one hour and then they get to go home and do homework all day. And they are video game homework so they actually like homework.”
Homework wouldn’t be the only thing computerized at Hamiz Ali’s school.
“The classroom would look a lot like outer space and the teacher would be a robot,” he said. “All day, we would play video games and we would go on field trips to Microsoft every single day.”
Motorized chairs would transport children to and around school, Adeline Crook said. Her friend Alexis Oakes said that the school of future would be a new and improved Clark with walkie-talkies and iPads.
But one thing all the students had in common was excitement to show off their projects at the 6:30 p.m. exhibition launch July 31.
“I’m going to be on Broadway, so I need the practice,” Alexis said.
Lillian Tucker: 392-6434, ext. 242, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.