It is a beautiful thing that I should find myself writing about the future of education for my online class as I am in my car, logged in to the Internet through my iPhone personal hotspot, driving up to the mountains. I couldn’t have imagined doing that even five years ago, so it is difficult to predict what education will be like in 2035. I wrote about the future of education back in May when I was blogging more regularly, and the ideas there still hold true, and I would add more. Things I would add to my exploration of the future of education:
- Ubiquitous learning: According to the Ubiquitous Learning Instituteat the University of Illinois, “technological as well as social, cultural, and institutional changes mean that learning is a continuous possibility across spatial and temporal barriers.” With those advances, people can learn what they want, when they want it, and from essentially any place. I believe that the four-walled classroom won’t yet be gone in 2025, but its use will change. One example of this that has already changed is reverse instruction or flip teaching, whereby students watch lectures and get direct instruction at home, participating in more teacher-supported practice and exploration at home. Here is a chemistry teacher describing how he uses this technique:
- Digital Literacy: Increasingly, educators are coming to understand that literacy is not just reading and writing in the traditional sense. In order to fully participate in the world students (and indeed all of us) need to learn to understand, analyze, connect and collaborate through many different media and technology. As students are able to search out the knowledge and skills they need from many different sources, public education as an institution will need to keep up or be left far behind. The International Society for Technology Education has created standards, guidelines and information for keeping literate in a technical age.
- Digital Books: 2025 is not all that far away. Already schools are implementing 1:1 programs with iPads contain students’ course materials, and as the technology becomes more refined, students interaction with their “texts” is far more interactive than a traditional book. This TED talk shows the first of the next generation of digital books.
What is most fascinating to me is how the traditional theories of learning and pedagogy will both change and be changed by technology as developments occur faster than we can keep up with them. As educators it is ever more important that we continue to collaborate and stay open and flexible in order to continue to be relevant.