In the future, students and educators can expect to see new ways of interacting with data and technology, said Professor Rich Fletcher of MIT Media Lab in Boston. He and his colleagues see technology not just as a way of delivering information, but as a tool for exploring and experimentation.
As MIT colleague Mitch Resnick put it in a video address to the NEST participants: "The purpose of education is not just learning to make a living, but learning to make a life." And if the lab's projects provide any clues as to what our future lives might look like, it's that we must begin thinking beyond mobile phones and computer screens and prepare for a world where learning takes place with the help of augmented reality and environmental sensors.
At MIT Media Lab, home of the world-famous RockBand video game, potential new learning tools are being developed on almost a daily basis. From relatively simple projector screens with interactive motion sensors to complex kinetic memory systems, traditional concepts of learning are being fundamentally challenged. When robots become toys, children become programmers. When a paintbrush becomes a camera, anyone can be a multimedia artist. As ICT makes the leap from our computer screens to our real-world environment, the boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred.