Tuesday, January 13, 2009


On Saturday, my son and I were watching the G4 TV shows he DVR'd about the Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas last week. One of the segments questioned what the viewers believed would be the first thing to become obsolete. The list included:

1. Gas-powered cars
2. Desk-top computers
3. Landlines
4. DVDs

Well, that got me thinking about what will be the first thing to become obsolete in the classroom?

Here is my list. What do you think?

1. Whiteboards
2. Paper
3. Textbooks
4. Overhead Projectors
5. The six hour school day

Photo credit - http://www.flickr.com/photos/thefrankfurtschool/252074409/


Kimberly said...

Followed your post on Plurk.

My list would be:
1. Cassette Recorders
2. VCRs
3. Textbooks
4. Overhead Projectors
5. Teachers with little to no working knowledge of technology.

Jarrod said...

I follow you on Twitter.

overhead projectors will be the next to go... followed by textbooks.

spedteacher said...

I work in an inner-city school. My list:

1. blackboards
2. chalk
3. pencils
4. tenure
5. seniority

narrator said...

1. The Classroom
2. The School Day
3. Pre-configured (not user configured) texts
4. The single purpose media device

Of course I'm being utopian.


Chris Eldred said...

Paper and text books are a good start.

I'm in for some of the other ideas here in the comments.

One thing I don't think will go away would be the 6 hour school day. If the kids don't come to school, what will their parents do with them all day?

Mr. Stevens said...


Interesting topic. I agree with part of your list.

1) Papers
2) Textbooks
--as prices of laptops continue to decline they can replace both of the previous. of course I feel that the textbook industry will fight this as long as they can. no tears by me when they go down.

3) Overhead Projector
--i think my school is down to one, but I have not seen it since October.

4) Six hour school day
--I'd like to adjust your listing of the six hour school day to the way the state qualifies seat time.

5) Seniority
--I'm using my final item to cast a vote in favor of @spedteacher. I have never agreed with seniority or tenure. I would love to see it go away.

Reflections of a Science Teacher said...

1. Textbooks
2. Overhead projectors
3. Desk top computers
4. Paper
5. 5 day/week, 6 hr/day face-to-face school day

Paul Bogush said...

3-single desks
4-school buildings
5-single subject classes

CassyT said...

Talk about Utopian! I'd be happy to have an overhead projector in my classroom.

1. Teachers without passion or the willingness to continue learning.

Samuel Sennott said...

I see the text book as something that will morph into a hybrid that looks something similar to a mix of "discovery streaming", "wikipedia", and your standard text book.

With $15 sunlight readable touchscreen displays on the horizon and low cost computing making an ever greater foothold, things surely look like they are changing with regard to our hardware capabilities on this front. :)

MRN's The Chute said...

What will they replace the 6 hour school day with?

I think classrooms that don't cater to children with special needs will be (I hope) the first things to go. Textbooks need to be digital so kids with LD, blindness, and other disabilities can have a screen reader to read them aloud.

I hope that advances in technology result in more accessible classrooms instead of leaving children with special needs behind.

megan205 said...

I was also wondering what the 6hr school day would be replaced with. If kids didn't go to school, where would they learn? Who would ensure that learning was taking place? What would motivate them?
Also a good point, parents need schools as much to give their kids an education as a place to go while the parents are at work.

As for what I think will become obsolete in classrooms:
1.overhead projectors
2. TVs, being replaced by smart boards
3.paper, pencil, and textbooks (to digital replacements)
4. teachers unwilling to adapt with the new technology

Jamilla Heap said...

Can I include textbooks in your list as more and more people prefer ebooks.


Karen Janowski said...

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts.
I, too, hope that inaccessible classrooms and inflexible teachers who are unwilling to adapt to the reality that technology makes learning possible and can reach all learners will become obsolete (immediately!).


Lisa Parisi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa Parisi said...

I came to this discussion late but love the topic so I had to add my 2 cents. :)

Overheads are basically obsolete in my school as more teachers have gotten SmartBoards. I don't think SBs will become obsolete but I think more teachers will start letting students create with the software and use the board in this fashion. The recording tools in SmartNotebook software are just too good to ignore.

Textbooks are out. But hopefully so are tests. So books will be used as resources when working on projects instead of books of info that need to be memorized.

And, of course, I think NCLB should be obsolete. We need to come up with better methods to ensure we teach all students.

suenoir said...

Among the next to go:
Carnegie/seat time credits
computer labs

Sue said...

Hi Karen,
I am a Special Education teacher in Victoria Australia. I teach juniors and love it. I found your site and linked it to my blogroll just recently.
The Nory Story site has been a wonderful addition to my classroom audio book links and I have just been blown away by the Animal Movie link. I plan to use it as part of my parent information night presentation.
Thanks for the great resource information. I plan to visit often.