Collaboration was the recurring theme of education trade show BETT this year. Major companies promoted the use of technology to encourage teachers and students to work together, rather than hold on to the traditional top-down approach to education.
Exhibitors presented a combination of devices and software aimed at giving students greater access to learning materials in digital format and on mobile devices.
The term 'disruptive' is thrown around the technology industry with casual abandon, but it describes well the radical changes afoot in the way education is delivered.
Apple's vice president of education, John Couch, called for technology to change the education system rather than simply making it easier to carry out traditional teaching.
The concept of a ‘connected classroom' was pitched by major technology brands, including Microsoft, Samsung and BT, as key to injecting collaboration and change into education.
This is effectively the idea of providing students and teachers with tablets or laptops connected to the same network and to each other, allowing content and work to be shared between devices and presented on a central screen.
The concept aims to help teachers better track the performance of individual students, while giving students the chance to use familiar consumer devices and gain access to learning material outside the classroom.
A classroom full of tablet-wielding children would see the end of traditional pen and paper-based learning.
I think that this is likely to kill the furtive passing of notes between desks, and that a lack of biros and pencils will leave pupils with nothing to chew on while they stare into space. Or perhaps that was just me.
Yet this connected and collaborative classroom will not be a strange concept for the current generation of school children.
Many already work on laptops and have Wi-Fi access, both of which were lacking when I was in school and using scientific calculators to display lewd words.
Many students are already collaborating on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, using them to discuss homework with their peers. The technology on display at BETT 2015 looked to expand that further and deeper into the classroom.
As someone from Generation Y, as opposed to the younger Generation Z, I found the concept of collaboration and the access to technology fascinating and foreign.
Broadband was only just beginning to become commonplace when I was in school, while mobile phones had physical keyboards and pupils' desks had paper workbooks, not Chromebooks.
BETT 2015 hammered home just how different the current education environment has become.
It's little more than a decade apart, but I believe that my education had much more in common with that of older generations than it did with Generation Z.
Some could see this as negative, but the technology and collaborative environments being touted by exhibitors offer a real opportunity to shake up what many now see as a tired education system.
The connected classroom and collaboration concepts are more than just giving children tablets, and look to streamline the tedious processes of marking and planning without compromising the delivery of knowledge to individual students.
It also aims to bypass situations where students of different abilities in the same class get bored or frustrated as their peers surge ahead or fall behind.
If the technology and concepts on display at BETT find widespread use across the UK's education sector, a real transformation in teaching will happen, dropping the traditional analogue system that is becoming increasingly irrelevant in a digital world.
This can only be a positive development as the importance of ensuring the UK churns out talented, tech-savvy youngsters becomes ever more vital.
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