The Future of Education
As we enter an increasingly technological world, using the internet is what every aspect of our lives will be based on. This includes education.
What we learn will change:
With a technological world comes new jobs needed to keep it running, to keep it innovating. As artificial intelligence and robots will take over manual jobs, there will be new jobs to replace them. We need education to fill these gaps currently in the school systems of today, just as woodworking and sewing/home economics classes were given in my parents day, no longer will some subjects today be relevant in the future. Perhaps even English and foreign language classes will take a back seat, as who needs to know grammar when everything is done on a computer? Controversial, I know.
The fact remains that there will be jobs for our future generations, but they will most likely be more computer and coding based in this increasingly technological world. Some occupations will never change however, such as medical research, creative arts and psychology, as human reasoning and curiosity can never be replaced.
How we learn will change:
With constant access to the internet through our computers and smart devices, comes constant access to information and our friends, family, and teachers. As the internet becomes more sophisticated, there will be more time for personal interaction in our lives – even if it is through a computer screen. Instead of a teacher being inundated will marking tests and preparing exams, with the assistance of AI to complete this for them, they will have more time to actually help struggling students with their learning.
For those who are not struggling, the internet will provide them with a platform to access education whenever they so choose. To choose when they will learn, and how, is the future.
My university degree from 2013 – 2017 is a testament to this. In the beginning of my degree, I would make the 40 minute trip each way to attend all my lectures, all my tutorials a few days a week. I would madly write just to keep up with the lecturer to make sure I got all the notes – which weren’t very legible. When I was nearing the end of my degree, I didn’t need to attend classes. I began to teach myself, in a way, by listening to lectures on the university cloud, following along with the lecture slides provided. When I didn’t understand something, I could Google it, or ask fellow students in the forums at any time of the day or night, and receive an answer.
In the space of 4 years the way I learnt my degree had changed so vastly. And this is indicative of the way the world is going, if so much change can happen in 4 years, what can happen in 40? How will the next generation be learning? Will there even be classrooms and the school run?
Perhaps even different schools will provide different subjects to the same student. No longer will a student be the student of this primary school, or this high school, but the student of many. School A will teach the basics of English, Maths and Science, School B will teach history, and School C will teach more specific courses in art, medicine or commerce, all online. This would allow for a specified and targeted education for each student earlier in their education, as they wouldn’t have to wait until university to specialise in their interests.
This would also help bridge the gap in the learning outcomes between country and city students, as access to more educational resources will become the norm. They would even be able to stay with their families in rural areas for longer, instead of having to move to the big smoke when it’s time to start university.
Learning will increasingly be at our fingertips, anything under the sun possible to become an expert in, and discussion will abound. This, I think, is the keystone of future education – a collaboration of our friends and peers, our classmates and our teachers, and no longer a transferring of information from teacher to student. Learning cannot be done alone – our worlds will be bigger and so will our minds.