In thinking of the aspects of my current curriculum that will still be relevant in 20 years, I came to believe, perhaps naively, that design sense and artistic techniques will still be relevant. Of course, problem-solving, self-directed learning, collaboration, and cultural literacy will still be important. These 21st-century skills are sure to stick around for the next 20 years. With all this in mind, I thought of the typical Ceramics lesson that I might teach. The historical and modern implications of ceramics, along with the impact that science and technology has on the medium, make it a valuable art form.
The typical slab building ceramic lesson would consist of students designing their own slab piece, revising their designs, and beginning construction individually. At the end of the assignment, students would critique with the peers in their class. Of the many changes I would make to this lesson, the first improvement that came to mind was the integration of deliberate collaboration. At this point, I realized that for my students to have a better experience, we might have to stretch ourselves a bit. In contacting my own peer, Jason Springer, we decided that this could be a great opportunity for a co-taught lesson. After all, even my current learners would likely prefer to hear from a new source, rather than regular, old Ms. Bongiorno.
The opportunity to participate in a co-taught lesson would also allow them to expand their understandings of what a peer can be, as they collaborate with someone outside of their own community. The potential to see another perspective and become more culturally literate is a big a positive to this lesson.
The imagined technology used here is not so far-fetched. Much of this technology is already in its early stages, with virtual reality three-dimensional drawings, and in-person virtual conferences. VR guru Ben Lang describes some of the possibilities with the current versions of such technology.
Our key assumption is that access to these technologies will be more realistic in the next 20 years, for both of our very different schools and learning environments. Overall, this lesson is extremely exciting, as it could very well have some of the same benefits to learning with perhaps more low-tech alterations, right here in the present.
Of course, in this world 20 years from now, our truly digital natives are familiar with of all the latest technologies that will be used in the following lesson. For instance, the virtual technologies in the video below, would look extremely dated, and the wearable technology would seem clunky compared to their modern counterparts in 2036. Some of our learners would even work on parts of their assignment as distance learners, attending their class mainly for ceramic construction or virtual collaboration time with media they cannot access at home.
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Tilt Brush: Painting from a new perspective, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TckqNdrdbgk
Improov3 - Virtual collaboration platform for professionals, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v45qJwtl5aU