The classroom of the future, a new phygital space

The future will be plenty of phygital spaces, where physical and digital won’t be told apart. The classroom is probably one of the first environments where this synergy will come true, and it will impact on every aspect of the learning experience: on teachers, students and learning methods.

What does Phygital mean?

When the physical world and the digital world combine or intersect, we can now talk about a phygital situation, a new concept where the positive aspects of the physical experiences are integrated with the useful opportunities offered by technology like, for example, the ability to communicate information quickly or record user data.
The existence of a phygital environment, where the real-world experiences become more engaging thanks to the interactive mobile technology, is made possible by the Internet of Things, connected objects that trigger physical reactions from digital actions or, vice versa, physical sensors that, when triggered, lead to digital outputs.
Advertising and communications were the first fields in which the word phygital appeared, but today it is normal to use it also in many other areas of interest, even in education and learning.

The school of the future: how to configure a phygital experience

When we try to think about the school of the future, it is natural to take into consideration the huge role of technology. However, the risk is still that of focusing on a choice between physical and digital solutions, when we really have to accept the fact that we will always be moving between these two dimensions and increasingly never leaving either realm.
Embracing this point of view is the first step to correctly configure a phygital environment at school, enabling students to learn through a new, more powerful experience, born from the interaction with various aspects of their lives, which are by the time inescapably both digital and physical.
Here are 4 ideas to start configuring classrooms as phygital spaces.

1. A new role for walls

In the school of the future, walls will no longer have a “separation role” but, on the contrary, will become the protagonists of the interaction between students and educational contents and material – with a digital structure, of course. The removal of the whiteboard has already begun, and the classroom of the future will demonstrate full interactive walls as its natural replacement.

2. The evolution of desks

Not only walls, even desks will become part of the phygital revolution in the classroom of the future. Students’ desks will evolve into interactive devices, allowing them to submit all work from there to their Cloud accounts, where teachers can access to guide them and provide feedback, wherever they are and whenever it is needed.

3. Technology means sustainability

The school of the future has the strong potential to lead the way and become a place where to educate pupils and students to the importance of living in a sustainable way. Technology will help young people understanding and following this path, starting immediately from their desks. Installing solar windows in classrooms, for example, will help reduce the building’s carbon footprint while saving money that can be invested to buy new devices or learning materials.

4. Holograms: a fully immersive experience

Students often require to see, touch, experience in a more authentic way what they learn at school. Holograms can help to make this happen, engaging learners’ attention and providing them the possibility to better explore the content, literally immersing themselves in it.

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