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The Road Ahead: Future Classroom (1995)

The 1995 book The Road Ahead by Bill Gates included a CD-ROM with video of what the classroom of the future would look like.

The paleo-future of 1995 is filled with ethnically diverse students academically engaged by the high-tech presentations of their fellow classmates. The teacher brings the class to attention by telling them to "get off the net." Every child has a diverse array of technology at their disposal. The keyboard Mr. Ballard uses is the most confusing of the supposed advances we see in the video.

(Is it just me or was "Mr. Ballard's" presentation completely devoid of useful information?)

A special thanks to Valleywag, who inspired the search for this paleo-futuristic video.

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Reader Comments (14)

If computers can make a whole classroom dance to Incan music, what CAN'T they doo??

March 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

Wow, this that was so similar to nonsense PowerPoint presentations I've been subjected to in the office: Music, things dancing around on the screen, zero content ... It seems that a good deal of the futurism in this one came to fruition!

April 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Why doesn't the teacher put her other arm in her coat?

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Man, the future will be even more glitzy than the present! And games will involve keeping a triangle upright... maybe!

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Extinction of an entire culture is hilarious! Let us join the children in giggling at their misfortune. :D

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFortyseven

"Why doesn't the teacher put her other arm in her coat?"

Because it's the future, damn it.

April 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterFortyseven

a friend teaches for headstart and this is pretty damn close. they make imovies, use keynote, do little animations, ethnically diverse.

i'm actually pretty impressed. maybe we're 10 years off from this being ubiquitous, but this video (besides the corny aesthetics) isn't really worthy of scorn.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterjinjc

Why is it that as soon as the inca music starts, they cut to the black student, suggesting "of course he would enjoy it!"

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDeep Blue

Apparently, all school reports will also be ripoffs of Zuma.

April 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

You know as someone in the school of the future (University of Phoenix) One needs to turn in a good ole paper (1100 - 1400 words) along with that fancy schmancy Powerpoint or in the in person they give actual presentations with facts and use the ever unpopular notes section fo the Power point application.

April 24, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEarlofstomp

Rather fitting that Apple seems to have followed through on Bill Gates's vision

October 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I dunno... Predicting the future is always hit and miss. It all boils down to how much tech is affordable. I'd venture a guess that in another 5 years most elementary schools will have HDTVs in each classroom, to supplement the ever shrinking "blackboard". Teachers will definately have the day's curriculm on a tablet computer. (Apple or MS is teacher's personal choice.) That gets filed via the school's net to the principal's office.

Kids are ID'd via Bluetooth or RFID when they enter the playground, not just enter the building. So rollcall is eliminated. How do they do that? C'mon, EVERYONE will have some kind of card or battery operated device by then!

December 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I wish it were true...

My friend has a school age kid, and when she was in elementary school, we found that they had PLENTY of computers.

They just had no techs to come out and hook them all up and get them on even a intranet, much less the WWW....

Having the technology is one thing. Monkey with a football, anyone?

I have been shopping via modem (military net ordering supplies) since the 80's. I marvel at how long it took the rest of the world to catch up!

February 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBrandy

And why has China expanded so much into South East Asia in that map behind him?

June 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBigSceneGirl

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