Can We, Should We Democratize the Classroom?

To my opinion, as a teacher, this question will become irrelevant over time. The classroom itself is changing, very slowly, but change is coming. Institutions will fall, collaboration has the future. So yes, learning will become super democratic, but not in a classroom setting, powered by technology.

Especially the classroom aspect of learning and it’s one to many situation in a physical space on a scheduled moment in time. The internet will make learning space and time independent. As it did with so many things already. The internet didn’t change schools already because they are organized in bureaucratic hierarchies paid with tax money. Static laws are the reference. Economic principles, student and teacher needs or new technologies as change drivers are minimal in the current learning institution.

The use of internet technology will make learning individual again: a highly specialized teacher and a single student relationship powered by technology. The mentor-protege situation, the way crafts were learned for so many years will come back. Selecting a topic, a teacher and a learning speed will all become super flexible. Learn what you like to learn, from the teacher you like the most. Learn where and when you like. Schedule an face to face exam with your teacher whenever the student is ready for it. Meet teachers and students issue based and motivated, not because it’s in a schedule. There will be a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the students to be willing to learn and to select courses that have value.

I can see that knowledge, teachers, exams and certificates will become super available. Classrooms inside institutions, with teachers in front of classes are a pre-internet concept. About exams: wisdom will be more in the crowds, so it’s not up to one teacher to judge if you score a sufficient for a test, but the group will have more of the last say, as they are collaborating they are smarter and more able to do a valuable test.

For those with technology fear: fear the institution, the schedule, the teacher with outdated knowledge, the unmotivated student, over technology. Fear the diploma valued by the reputation of the institution, especially because institution are always by definition outdated. Future and the newest insights should be what makes your education valuable. Technology will just empower this. Students will always meet and help other students to succeed, and meeting teachers for exams will always be part of education.