In a recent speech at the National Association of Independent Schools Conference in Seattle, USA, Bill Gates talked about technologies can help increase the impact of teaching and learning. There is no doubt that a lot has been promised, a lot is possible and perhaps all the dreams and promises have not been delivered but it is always interesting to get the perspective of someone who tends to have an idea or two about technology and education!

The speech was called Fulfilling Technology's Promise to Education: How much can technology help us teach and learn. Click on the pictures below to see the four key trends in online learning that were outlined:

personalizing learning reimaging textbooks
scaling teachers social networks

“There really is no limit to what teachers can do if they have the right resources. A decade from now, finding and using the best content and technology will be as natural as opening a book. Tablets and high-speed Internet access will be ubiquitous. Each student will have a learning map that helps chart their interests and learning path inside and outside the classroom. And the concept of the textbook will fade—replaced by easy online access to the best lectures and course materials available.”

Bill Gates, NAIS Conference, March 2012

Today, teachers and students have access to all these trends in some fashion. 1:1 computing is possible nearly everywhere in the world, resource banks such as Khan Academy is making access to high level content free and easy, online communities such as Ning’s, the Partners in Learning Network, Edmodo are enabling teachers to collaborate on, create and localise content together and extend the classroom beyond the 4 walls, and personalised feedback is becoming more and more common. Just where will all these elements be in 10 years time? Perhaps in a school like this. Have a look at how the NYC iSchool that has taken 21st century learning to it’s near ultimate develpment.

Now when am I going to get my hovercraft car!