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
- Personalized Learning. The necessity to consider students’ personal peculiarities and reveal their potential has always been a primary challenge for educators. A classroom usually comprises students who have different levels of knowledge and that is why the individual approach might be more suitable as it will help students to be more confident with their acquired knowledge and ensure the adherence of the learning process to students’ abilities.
- Free Choice. This method allows students to learn in a way that appears to be the most suitable for them. Essentially, it does not mean that learners can skip particular subjects or ignore specific knowledge. On the contrary, free choice means that students will be able to modify their learning process and focus on obtaining skills and knowledge that is required for their future career. Moreover, students will be able to enrich their general studies with particularly useful additional materials or approaches. Waldorf and Montessori education systems already implemented this methodology and it will gain even more popularity in the future.
- Grading Changes. One can anticipate significant changes related to the procedure of grading. Currently, the adopted rubrics often evaluate students’ achievements in a rather limited way, that is why the development of a more detailed and student-oriented grading system is expected. For example, Artificial Intelligence software will calculate the past achievements of each student for a meaningful criterion of success or failure. Of course, the teachers will always be a final instance to make the decision, yet they still should have more evaluation tools. According to online education surveys, progressive American universities should choose flexible grading where students discuss decisions with a teacher and reach a compromise as they will have multiple opportunities for feedback.
- Different Approach to Exams. Another important concern among educators is how will the exams change in the near 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, exam practices will shift from assessing students’ abilities to memorize definitions to focus on teamwork, projects, and field practice, where students can demonstrate real knowledge and how they could apply it to work tasks. As a result, it creates a healthy balance between actual employment simulation and knowledge of theoretical principles.
- Even More Technology. Despite already taking its honorary place, the use of digital technology and supplementary devices will only increase. A major reason why it is expected is the growing number of online classrooms which allow remote learning and grading. 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 the fact that the young generation grows up with smartphones and social media as part of everyday life, education will make a serious effort to enter this field at even greater depth.
- Personal Involvement. Both students and their parents will become more involved in the process of course curriculum development including the allocation of credit hours and even assessment methods. The possibility to let students explain how they see diverse matters and choose what they would like to change will become prevalent. 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 learning choices based on their future career plans.
- Mentoring Roles. Modern schools already implement changes related to the widespread use of electronic devices and more students’ independence. The role of mentors will only increase under these circumstances. An average student may have access to a myriad of learning materials in online access but asking experienced educators for a piece of good advice will always be relevant. Technology is not a solution that can instantly solve all the problems. Continuing support via real face-to-face interaction where all student’s concerns and struggles can be discussed will remain relevant in future education.
- Cloud Learning. This form of education might be familiar to the majority of students because of smartphones and online activities where cloud computing is involved, whether it is sharing photos with the family, listening to music or working on a college project that involves several participants. Providing immediate access to information anywhere it is needed along with the different privileges, cloud learning method ensures collaboration in practice and helps to reveal personal and professional skills among students.
- 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. Whether it is business administration, nursing, or any other class, adopting projects as part of the educational process will help to create situations where participants can easily sense real-life challenges of each assignment. This way educators can help students to see how they may manage their time, work on obtaining diverse skills relevant for real work, and develop strong leadership qualities.
- Going Beyond Classrooms. One of the most important aspects that will change the future of education is the shift from traditional methods of teaching and learning. The effectiveness of multiple online courses and language lessons via Skype proved the absence of obligatory physical presence of students in a classroom. Additionally, not being limited by a particular location makes it possible to learn at one’s own pace while managing spare time, work, and family commitments. While it may bring up concerns among old school educators, such an approach is also crucial for disabled students who apply for online courses because visiting a university in person can be difficult.
Guiding Principles for Future Education
While students benefit from advancements in technology and learning on their own using their favorite devices, teachers are concerned with how to embrace all these changes or even reluctant to accept the changes. There is talk about AI’s replacing the importance of real teachers or even concerns that machine learning and cloud computing might make educators in the classroom completely redundant. Nevertheless, it is more of a philosophical issue as it is crucial to get the benefits of any innovative method.
It is crucial to reach an 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 for students, a true challenge for educators is to let 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 face-to-face interaction with students. However, the surveys among participants in the most popular online courses in various disciplines revealed the fact that the instructor’s personality was one of the most important defining factors. Teacher’s role will never be undermined with the pace of technology. On the contrary, the availability of more supplementary tools will allow teachers to track the progress of each student and address an individual’s needs on time. 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, they should be ready to accept new perspectives instead. Moreover, technology will help educators to gain useful experience, trust among students, and become more qualified eventually. 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.