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Future of Education: What To Expect And How To Adjust

02 Sep 2019

Today education is not what it was even five years ago, which is not only because of technology’s impact. Introduction of e-books, online learning, and diverse electronic devices are rapidly changing the world around us, yet there are both old and new principles that still shape how we learn. As the changes embrace not only the students but the teachers and the education system as a whole, its future must be approached as a mixture of prognosis and anticipated changes that have been recently implemented. Such a method will make it easier to analyze different forms that education may take while remaining familiar without drowning in controversies like total elimination of human factor. Education will always remain in this form or another. A primary task is the implementation of existing changes to augment teacher’s roles as the learning methods evolve.

10 Things That Will Shape The Future of Education During The Next 20 Years

  1. Personalized Learning. Always posing a primary problem for educators, personalization of learning has always been a challenge. A classroom usually comprises students who have different levels of knowledge and that is why the individual approach might be more suitable. That is why the shift to personalized learning is a need. It will help students to be more confident with their acquired knowledge and will not make them discouraged if they do not understand something.
  2. Free Choice. This method allows students to learn the way that feels most suitable for them. Essentially, it does not mean that learners can skip particular subjects or ignore specific knowledge. On the contrary, most students will be able to modify their learning process and focus on learning the material that is required for their future career. Also, they will be able to add to their general studies some electronic devices, additional materials, field experience, old-time approaches, and more. While already implemented in Waldorf and Montessori education systems, this method will gain more popularity in the future.
  3. Grading Changes. One can anticipate significant shifts regarding how students are graded. Since grading often acts as a set-back or a power that evaluates the skills of students in a limited way, there is more detailed, humanized grading system expected. Artificial Intelligence software will calculate the past achievements of each student for an average calculation of success or failure. Of course, the teachers will always be a final instance to decide, yet they should have more evaluation tools. According to online education surveys, progressive American universities choose flexible grading where students discuss final decisions with a teacher as they reach a compromise.
  4. Different Approach to Exams. Another important concern among educators is how will the exams change in the nearest future. While it would be incorrect to assume that the current examination style may disappear completely, it is safe to predict that the usual quiz or question-answer model will transform into a more project-based environment. Since most course materials are currently stored in a digital domain, exams will focus on future job applicability, teamwork, projects, and field practice. As a result, it creates a healthy balance between actual employment simulation and theoretical principles.
  5. Even More Technology. Despite already taking its honorary place, use of digital technology and supplementary devices will only increase. A major reason why it is expected is the freedom to access materials online and submit them while using remote classrooms. While the practical part is explained during face-to-face interaction, the use of personal learning devices allows educators to control progress and track down any changes a student makes. Considering how the younger generation grows up with smartphones and social media, education will make a serious effort to enter this field at even greater depth.
  6. Personal Involvement. Both students and parents will become more involved in how course curriculum is formed, in several hours dedicated to a particular subject, ways how educators approach specific skills of a student, and so on. It will make it possible to let students have a voice regarding how they see diverse matters and choose what they would like to change. Even though conservators are not happy with such an idea, it is the only significant power that may allow new initiatives to work in practice. It is especially relevant in online education where students have more choices regarding what to learn based on their future employment plans.
  7. Mentoring Roles. As it is already the case in modern schools that are overfilled with electronics use and independence, the role of mentors might only increase. No matter how much control an average student may have while accessing online libraries or myriad of curriculum notes, turning to a teacher or asking for a piece of good advice in a maze of information will always be relevant. Technology is not a solution that can instantly solve all the problems. Thus, it proves how important it is to have real face-to-face interaction where concerns and struggles can be discussed.
  8. Cloud Learning. This education form might be familiar to most students because of smartphones and online activities where cloud computing is involved, be it sharing photos with the family, listening to music or working with a college project that involves several members. Providing immediate access to information and the different privileges, cloud learning method allows working in a team, inspiring students for creative solutions while cooperating in a team of different individuals. It is collaboration in practice, which helps to reveal personal and professional skills among students.
  9. Focus on Projects. There will be a tendency towards project-oriented tasks to help students implement gained theoretical skills in practice and interact with others as they seek solutions. Regardless if it is economics, political science, business administration or nursing, projects help to re-create case studies or create new situations where participants can easily sense real-life challenges of each assignment. This way educators can help students see how they may manage their time, work on diverse collaboration skills, and develop strong leadership qualities.
  10. Going Beyond Classrooms. Still, one of the most important aspects that will affect the future of education is studying beyond classrooms. Starting from online courses that are taught remotely to Skype language lessons, there is less need for being physically present in a classroom as students can attend obligatory lectures from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, not being limited by a particular location makes it possible to learn at one’s own pace, while managing free time, work, and family commitments. While it may bring up concerns among old school educators, such an approach is also crucial for disabled students or those who apply for online courses, when visiting a university in person can be difficult because of various reasons.

Guiding Principles for Future Education

While students benefit from advancements in technology and learning on their own by switching on their favorite devices, teachers are understandably concerned with how to embrace all these changes. There is talk about AI’s replacing the importance of real teachers or even concerns that machine learning and cloud computing might eliminate educators from the classroom. Nevertheless, it is more of a philosophical issue as it is crucial to get the most out of any innovative method. The keyword here is accommodation because it is exactly what can help focus on every learner’s needs and implement technology at the same time. Without a doubt, even ten years ago, most school children were starting with the same curriculum, while modern schools take a different approach with a detailed evaluation. The benefits are obvious, yet it is not easy for an average teacher to make an immediate switch. Since technology provides immediate access to information, which students choose, a true challenge among educators is in letting the students learn on their own. Students must not only avoid getting lost in an endless data stream but also process acquired knowledge correctly.

Another important concern is the anticipated change in the teacher’s position and authority if there is no classroom or physical interaction. Nevertheless, according to most popular online courses in different disciplines, it is the figure of curriculum instructor that makes people choose it over the others. Teacher’s role will always be as ever important in technological times. It only shows how crucial it is to use supplementary tools while tracking the progress of each student and addressing an individual’s needs on time. This benefit will assist teachers as they establish closer contact with the learners and allocate precious time for struggling individuals. Since most schools and colleges in the United States switch to smaller classes, a chance of focusing on individual qualities of each attendee will help teachers seek innovative ways to improve education by linking it with practice and skills that must be used in professional environments.

Hand In Hand With Changes

While no one can tell for sure that technology improves education, it cannot be denied that it has made it more accessible and varied than ever before. The teachers should not be afraid of the upcoming changes and on the contrary, be ready to accept them. It will help to gain experience, trust and become more qualified. Therefore, it is a task of teachers to work hard and teach students how to learn in a new environment while remaining the best role model for them.