Education Predictions 2020
1. Out with the mass production of students, in with individualized education.
One of the biggest flaws of the traditional educational model is the assumption that the same content, format and the speed of learning can be taught effectively to all students. This is not true. Students and parents are actively resisting this model and will ultimately drive the change. As such, the alternative schools like Quadrat, Focus or Acton, will continue to emerge and become more mainstream.
2. Brain augmentation will expedite the learning process.
The tech industry is working on the counter AI measures to make humans smarter and more agile. As soon as the technology will be ready for mass production, the way we absorb knowledge will change completely, i.e. we will go from reading to visuals to direct brain signals. This will make the learning process almost instantaneous but the availability will be restricted due to the legitimate privacy and legal implications. In the meantime, we will see incremental innovations such as new learning devices and gadgets.
3. Four-year college programs will be replaced by “learn-as-you-go” options.
The speed of innovation is already exponential. Students will not have the luxury of spending four years to acquire a skill set which will become obsolete by the time they graduate. They will resort to incremental courses with targeted content needed for a specific job or tech trend at a given point. The life long career concept is on the way out. Most kids will have to reinvent themselves as they go through life and re-train quickly.
4. Incremental and “easy-to-consume” learning formats will rule.
The enormous and constant information flow is forcing people to default to the “easy-to-consume” media formats. The trend is towards the visual consumption, micro bites of information and short texts on the go, primarily mobile. This means the future student will be comfortable only consuming small amounts of content and have short attention span. Long textbooks will become defunct and new incremental blocks of learning will be the new norm.
5. The rise of the online education and homeschooling.
The number of people working from home or shared office spaces are growing. This means parents spend more time at home and work from a variety of remote locations. The availability of online quality learning options is increasing quickly, and students are much more accustomed to online content. Driven by the failing school system, more and more parents will opt to homeschool and turn to online resources.
6. New skills will require a new curriculum.
The industry will require more critical thinking, engineering, technology and innovation skills which will drive the curriculum change. Colleges and universities will respond first. They will favor high school students that demonstrate readiness in these areas. BUT the schools will be slow to adopt the model primarily because it requires a completely new “teacher” with a different mindset and knowledge base. While the teacher programs evolve, there will be a need for the industry professionals to fill in the gap and be more involved in the education field.