June 13, 2017, Lagos, Nigeria: The days of classrooms where a teacher’s desk sits at the front and students’ desks are neatly arranged in rows will soon be over. In the future, classrooms will no longer be described as rooms within a school, where students are taught, but rather any space where learning takes place. The key enabler of mobile learning today is the Internet.
Today, assignments are completed online and uploaded through classroom portals. Posting of grades and results are also done online. However, in the near future, group projects will be completed through collaborative software and students will use cloud storage instead of flash drives or paper to store their work. Teachers, parents, students and administrators will communicate through social media platforms designed specifically for education or for a school. All this will be made possible through the power of the Internet.
Speaking at the Total School Support Exhibition (TOSSE) last Friday was Funke Atanda, Senior Manager, Product Portfolio, Vodacom Business Nigeria. Atanda said “Teachers need to embrace the internet and they need to be computer literate because laptops and other educational technology will eliminate the use of paper. As the Internet and computers become more accessible and cheaper; instead of teachers copying handouts and exams to give to students, they will be pushed online to students”. She added that the role of the teacher will change from instructor to guide, maintaining that the responsibility now lies with teachers to become tech savvy and ready for not only future classrooms but future learners.
According to Atanda, not only will the instructive methods change in classrooms of the future but the classroom layout will too. Students will sit side-by-side and not behind or in front of each other; a more appropriate design for students to collaborate and not compete with each other. Class work and assignments will also be based on shared efforts and not individual efforts, resulting in an environment where students will innovate, critique, challenge the status quo, code and invent new technologies that improve learning and living.
Vodacom Business Nigeria has been at the forefront of creating reliable and affordable connectivity solution for corporates and schools. Vodacom has now gone a step further to create EduLink Wireless Internet Services that gives schools across Nigeria access to fast, reliable and cost-effective Internet. This solution offers access to curriculum content from primary school to local and international qualifications preparations such as SSCE, UMTE and A-Levels. Educators are now well placed to reach more students and improve learning ability using content and curriculum available online even where books are scarce.