By Amanda Montgomery || @acmontgomery

Iconic moments.  Every age we experience as individuals carries certain lingering memories that we eventually file away over time to our mind’s back burner; yet later on these reflections tend to surprise us when they surface unexpectedly. Certainly any number of things (seeing an old photograph, listening to a friend’s story, discovering a particular song, etc) might trigger this nostalgia sans rhyme or reason.  So when planning to write about this week’s blog post for EMAC6361, inspiration much to my surprise grew by looking at Exhibit A – an odd but charming screenshot from the revered 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

During one’s elementary education stint – is there anything really more exciting than anticipating the annual school field trip?  Although hazy, surely we all recall preparing meticulously so that we’d savor every moment and opportunity to discover new things.  By parental instruction, we knew to pack one’s backpack carefully – not to forget pencil, paper, sack lunch, and extra juice box.  Your backpack also kept the day’s collection of bountiful treasures safe and intact to bring home for further inspection.

Today, when a student begins collecting research and other educational information, field trip fun no longer requires one to tote the cumbersome, overstuffed backpack.  Instead, technology advances make note taking, bookmarking, cataloging, etc easy to create, share, and even store online.  Does learning today mean a backpack becomes obsolete?

When considering the ways knowledge institutes (i.e. K12 education, museums, etc) continue to shift closer and closer toward digital resources that expand the learning process beyond its traditional confines, understandably the archaic tools like backpacks, pencils, and paper materials also change/appear obsolete.  The Museum group’s digital showcase did a fantastic job presenting poignant examples that truly explain how education models are crossing into a new era where kiddos experience then pack information not into a traditional backpack but rather into an storage site similar to Dropbox or

The advantage to bringing more and more learning exploration, or preparation time for the actual site visit, online proactively helps increase the off site activity quality especially when the previously garnered research syncs to a mobile device (smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc) and a student can then accesses that information while studying live.  Trendwise, it appears that the new school year will no longer begin when one picks out a new designer backpack by Jansport or LL Bean.  Instead the 21st century youngster will now kick off August by registering their classroom profile and sending a hello email to their new homeroom teacher.

So now the task at hand: Our K12 education research group must define a solution that aspires to help resolve a certain challenge/problem/hindrance/issue prohibiting how the primary school model enjoys innovative growth, reconstruction and evolution.  It’s entirely possible that we’ll need to merge archaic traditions/concepts like using a backpack with certain technological functions that exists digitally (cloud computing) so that the new solutions we design help not just primary education classrooms and their participants – but hopefully we also contribute overall to progressive education ideas.