Past to Present: Evolution of the Classroom

No two generations share the same classroom experience as the classroom evolves with time, although the goal of educating the young mind remains the same throughout generations.

The classroom is a room that defines the lives of many, being a place where fundamental knowledge is imparted.

A classroom is a foremost place not only in terms of education but also morally and socially. Students interact with one another, gain knowledge from professional educators, which they go on to use in their lives.

No two generations share the same classroom experience as the classroom evolves with time, although the goal of educating the young mind remains the same throughout generations.

The workings of the classroom are important and the smooth and up to date running should be of priority as it is a vital part of any society. This is because the classroom helps in shaping the mind and moulding people into the best versions of themselves.

Over time, the classroom has evolved as a result of different technological advancements, these technological devices have influenced the way knowledge is taught by teachers and assimilated by students.

Technology plays a vital role in the education sector and at every point in its evolving lifecycle, it has fulfilled its purpose of making life easier, with respect to learning.

The 19th century was the era of the slate and chalkboard as they were a feature in every classroom. This was remarkable as students and teachers could write down lessons, take-home assignments and more importantly, mistakes could be forgotten with the swipe of a rag.

As quoted from a Boston school superintendent, he described the slate as being if the result of the work should, at any time, be found infelicitous, a sponge will readily banish from the slate all disheartening recollections, and leave it free for new attempts. The invention of the chalkboard paved the way for the modern-day whiteboard, while the invention of the pencil put an end to the use of slates in classrooms in the late 19th century.

The 20th-century classroom was very teacher centred, every classroom activity revolved around the teacher with students having little to no room to create. The teacher was the centre of attention and sole provider of information. In terms of technology, the use of pens in classrooms became prominent in the mid-20th century.

Hand-held calculators and graphing calculators were introduced to classrooms by the end of the century. This was one invention that made every science student happy. The whiteboard was rolled out in the late 90s and although it didnt immediately become an important feature in classrooms, it proved to be environmentally friendlier than the chalkboard.

The 21st century is the age of internet. The internet has been of tremendous influence in the educational sector, not just on classroom gadgets but also on teacher-student relations. The classroom is student centred, while the teacher acts as a facilitator. Students dont rely solely on the teachers for information, instead, they use the information they have found to construct their knowledge and understanding, they are given the opportunity to create and innovate. Students collaborate, share information and no one learns in isolation. This collaboration was also aided by the elimination of single desks in classrooms, which were then replaced by twin desks and roundtables. This allows students to sit in groups and hold discussions.

In terms of classroom devices, computers have become an important feature in classrooms, they are readily available in modern classrooms since they are essential tools for 21st-century students. Projectors have also become an important technological device in the modern classroom. Students do not rely on reading about things only, they can now see it. Computers not only give students the platform to conduct online research and become technologically savvy, but they also give teachers the opportunity to enhance their lessons


Image result for skool media tablet

In developed countries of today, the classroom has evolved from being a regular room to a smart room of interconnected devices, with an educational curriculum designed to be problem-solving oriented. Students are taught problem-solving skills, useful in a tech world with STEM courses taking the forefront in education. By being problem-solving oriented, students are able to solve the real-life problems of today by applying what they learn in a classroom. This way, students do not just learn, they learn useful information.

Currently, the use of individual tablets by students is fast becoming a norm and theres no telling what the future holds for the classroom as it is a space that evolves with every technological advancement.

Perhaps the biggest change in the structure and feature of a classroom is the fact that the classroom will no longer be a room with four walls. With the rise of video conferencing, internet, smart devices and so on, virtual learning has become a reality and the classroom has moved on from a confined space to a community, locally and globally.

Virtual learning is a form of instruction that takes place over the internet and students can receive instructions from anywhere in the world. This gives room for students to be organized into cohorts, groups and roles; present resources, activities and interactions within a course structure.

A classroom of the future should be more like an innovative centre where students are free to create. This is important because a new idea leads to the creation of a new product, process or service; which is crucial to the development of any nation.

The Edufirst Tech Experience Centre provides such ambience for the young mind and it serves as a home for quality learning resources and a space to birth ideas for students and teachers. Edufirst Innovation labs give students and teachers a physical space to experience learning and collaboration in a different way. Any modern classroom should be capable of producing technologically savvy students to compete in the ever-changing world.

The Edufirst platform is a complete education resource for students, teachers, parents and other stakeholders.

Article written by Ajibade Adebanke,
(Content developer at Edufirst.ng)

Posted On: 2 August, 2018