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Information and communications technology (IT) is having a significant impact on how schools are organized and run, Ericsson's latest Networked Society study showed.
The study, "Learning and Educations in the Networked Society," unveils six main areas affected when ICT is introduced in schools:
Work tools: The tools of the trade for learning and education are changing as students bring their own devices, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, with them to class.
Technical solutions: Network connectivity and solutions for content management, communication and interactivity have become critical infrastructure for schools.
Work space: Mobile phones, laptops and tablets are making the school desk as we knew it obsolete. Progressive schools are having their classrooms rebuilt to make them multifunctional.
Ways of working: The idea that students should do one specific thing at one particular time is based on the needs of an industrial society. Project-based learning is more aligned with the reality of today’s information society.
Work relations: Teachers are, and will remain a vital part of education but their role is changing. New ways of working mean the teacher’s role changing from being a “sage on the stage” to a “guide by the side”.
Skills and knowledge: Schools prepare young people for future. Basic skills such as reading, writing and arithmetic will always be important, but in a world with unlimited access to text, audio and video information anytime, anywhere, new demands are being placed on people with regard to the skills and knowledge they need to acquire.
Mikael Eriksson Björling, Expert on Consumer Behavior at ConsumerLab, said learning and education are in a time of transformation.
"Our research shows that students and progressive teachers, empowered by technology, are the catalysts to fundamental change. ICT is literally breaking down the walls of the classroom, and we have to start looking upon learning as something that takes place everywhere, all the time. Going toward the Networked Society, ICT will be increasingly important to lifelong learning,” Björling said.
In conjunction with the report, Ericsson has also released a documentary titled “The Future of Learning”, which addresses the changes in the schools of the future.