Education as we once knew it has changed greatly and will continue to do so in the next 50 years. From the earliest form of learning in a one-room school with copying and memorizing as the primary forms of teaching to many students who chose to learn online today, there will be continued radical shifts in our educational systems. When formal education was in its infancy, students’ learning consisted of rote memorization based on the teacher’s directives and copying information to augment the memorization. The internet and its companion technological learning devices could not have even be fathomed by learners of the past. The state of education will be drastically different than it is today and the future holds great learning possibilities.
Increased use of technology, whether in an individual online setting or a traditional classroom, will continue to impact education. Online programs or individual courses will allow many to receive specific degrees or garner personal training and development. The future of education is exciting, though frightening to many. Some groups will embrace the upcoming changes easier than others.
Computer-savvy students will probably embrace the future way of learning most easily. Futurists predict that students can choose topics they are interested in, rather than having to take specific courses they are apathetic about. This course selection will tend to increase academic success for students. As they demand new, creatively-designed courses, companies will begin to develop new courseware. People are constantly being challenged to learn new information at a much faster rate than our ancestors and the ability to use that information is stymied by little relevant courseware or a phenomenon as courseware vacuum (Frey, 2007) because no systems have been developed. Futurists predict education will transition from the teacher as the dominant focus of the classroom to learning as the key element and teaching conducted only in outdated classes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to 24/7 individualized learning opportunities anywhere. There will be no classes with thirty or so students because students can join many different online learning communities with fellow students from all over the world.
An allotted number of school buildings will become learning centers to accommodate children, youth, and adults, who may need help with technological issues or academic research. Exciting options will open for teachers in the future. Some teachers will continue to be employed within school systems work as academic tutors, educational guides, and learning coaches. Other teachers may choose to develop their own educational centers or produce much-needed learning courseware.
Education of the future will also be influenced by online, eLearning technology in four options: massive open online courses, mLearning, virtual technologies, and gamification (Rosen, 2014). Massive open online courses, also known as MOOCs, allow large number of students throughout the U.S. and other countries to take the same course at the same time. With the MOOC model, learning will continue to be available to interested learners who can log on via their internet connection. Though MOOC providers are still figuring out ways to charge for this type of platform, online education will continue to improve, become available to more people, and be utilized in more learning venues. Mobile Learning or mLearning takes places on users’ mobile devices, whether they utilize iPhones, smart phones, tablets, iPads, and others yet to be invented. All of these devices allow learning from anywhere. Digital compasses, cameras with dual capacity, great-sounding audio, and more are integral features for many mLearning devices.
Futuristic virtual reality technologies will allow learners to role play for various characters in their lessons. Students can choose to use futuristic technologies like Google Glass and other wearable tech devices to augment their learning experiences. These types of virtual reality are sometimes referred to as “immersive multimedia” because many virtual realities are used in tandem for learning (Rosen, 2014). Based on their imagination, students can virtually design, interact, and incorporate a particular concept into their learning experience.
Gamification will be a vehicle to deliver eLearning courses of the future instead of traditional lectures in classrooms. Games like Candy Crush and World of Warcraft have shown educators the importance of student engagement in the classroom. Because learners like games and will spend hours and hours on them, they can utilize these interactive elements and opportunities to develop learning strategies. Great courses of the future will offer students unique ways to fully understand educational concepts, get immediate feedback, and simulate characters with distinct personalities.
With these future trends, educators, instructors, and students will learn at the speed of light due to technology improvements and online learning opportunities. In the future, we predict students entering the workforce will be better educated and more prepared for the workplace than they are today based on the predicted educational tools of the future.
- Frey, T. (2007). The Future of Education. Retrieved from http://www.futuristspeaker.com/ business-trends/the-future-of-education/
- Rosen, D. (2014). From Chalkboards to Chatboards: What Will eLearning Look Like in 2075? Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/elearning-future-what-will-elearning-look-like-2075