In a recent PEW research report (in collaboration with Elon university) more than 1000 educational stakeholders and experts were interviewed, and asked for their view on education in the year 2020. Will education remain the same or will technology change the face of education by 2020? 60% of the sample believed that education will be significantly different in 2020 thanks to technology, while 39% answered education will remain more or less the same. The full PEW report can be read here.
Education in 2020 will off course be different from 2012, but my guess (and experience) is that in 2020 we will look back and talk about the evolution of education instead of the educational revolution (as many people saying nowadays). Although many people will argue that this will be a revolution, education in 2020 only will be more personal, individual and technology enhanced then in 2012.
Education will be personal
In 2020 education will be very personal. Instead of being cramped in big classrooms (which will still be part of everyday education in 2020) more teaching will be done in person with a single or small group of student(s). Teaching will be more about coaching and less about transferring knowledge. Instead of teaching the same course to every student, students will have the chance to interact and work with teachers or better coaches on daily basis (thanks to technology). This way a personal relationship can be established between tutor and student. A personal learning path which fits the student personal learing environment will be a standard approach to an individualized learning program.
Education will be individualized
Since every single person has different interests and different learning goals/abilities, education will become a personalized and individual project fitted at every single student needs. Education will need to organise in a way to service this individual needs. Individual learning programs will be standard, instead of group programs organised in a year system. (This will be the biggest shift for education as we know it. This needs to be done at all educational levels, starting with primary school and ending when learing stops at 70?). Each student will take a program fitted to its needs (with respect for the logical structure of interdependent courses).
Although many people will argue that education is a social thing that doesn’t need to be individualized, education will become more social than nowadays. Collaboration will be the standard for every course, students need to collaborate to succeed. The challenge lays within the education itself to challenge our students, so they need to collaborate to succeed!
Education will be technologically enhanced
Collaboration has never been so easy thanks to technology. Social media and mobile devices make it easy for student to collaborate and stay in touch where and when the want. In 2020 virtual (and augmented) reality will enhance education even more. Collaboration worldwide will be easy, and education will bring students together from all over the world thanks to technology (not only on a screen but with 3D technology and hologram technology it will be like working in one room). The opportunities for collaboration will be endless (and not geographically limited as today).
Besides the easy collaboration, megatons of information will be available for all students thanks to technology. Technology will give access to information, but will also help you search for the information that you need. Technology will be your (personal) assistant in learning to format information to the personal needs and helping you interpret and understand the information (at your personal level). Technology will service the personal needs of every student. (Although this seems scary, technology that is thinking with you – web 3.0 or semantic web – will be a huge help in our learning process).
These shifts will facilitate life-long learning for everybody. Since time and place aren’t important anymore. We don’t need any bricks anymore for teaching!
PEW Research – The Future of Higher education
Mashable – Adaptive Learning: Why your kids will be smarter than a you