Education has existed as a form of transfer of knowledge from the earliest known civilizations. The invention of writing happened approximately 5000 years ago and with it came formal education. Different kinds of educational methods were used in the early Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, very different from schools as we know them today.
Educational methods and institutions have evolved and continue to do so at a rapid pace. The advent of information technology in schools has accelerated the changes in our education system even further. Schools and educational institutions will face amazing changes in the years to come.
So what are the changes we can expect in schools in another 10 years?
- Technology will be the new medium of education:
We use languages as the medium of education in schools and we focus on the quality of languages used today. In the future, IT will be the medium for education, and the focus will be on the effective use and manipulation of computers rather than on the act of writing as we know it today. Though language will still be a very important part of education, shorter versions of the words and sentences as we know them today will be widespread and universally accepted.
Computers will, of course, not be as we know them today, as they will undergo a drastic transformation. Every subject in school will require a computer application as the medium to learn it and so the focus in primary school will be on learning to use these applications.
- Classes as we know them will no longer exist:
‘The multiage concept is based on the assumption that children learn best in active ways through the interaction with the environment and with different people… and allows for each child to progress at their own pace. ‘ There will no longer be classes with students grouped on the basis of their age. Educators are realizing the pressure this puts on students. They have concluded that every child is different and needs to progress according to their own abilities.
There will be groups of children of different ages interacting and learning the same lesson or application together with each child advancing according to his/her own pace.
- Student-oriented classes:
Teacher-oriented classes where students receive lectures from teachers will be out and student-centered learning will be in. Students will read, scrutinize text, work on applications and problems till they find the solution and come up with solutions and even definitions based on their activities. As they will have been actively involved in arriving at the solution, students will retain the lessons learned more effectively.
- Hands-on assignments and projects will replace exams:
Exams, as we know them today, will become obsolete and the focus will be on accomplishing projects, making presentations and other methods to demonstrate the student’s ability to apply the concepts learned in a practical manner.
- Update skills of teachers:
An important part of the teacher’s job will be developing skills, particularly technical since education will be primarily imparted through various technological devices. Teachers will be trained regularly to keep up with subject-related apps and their updated versions.
- Classrooms will no longer be the exclusive realms for teaching:
With the extensive use of computer software for learning almost all subjects, online classes with teachers and groups of students will be the norm. Classrooms, as we know them today, will become obsolete. This will also be more environment-friendly as fewer stationary, furniture and rooms will be required for the more modern, simplistic classrooms with digital whiteboards. These will be used by different batches of students in multi-age groups (based on the capacity of the student and not the age).
- More board-certified online classes:
Given the sheer convenience and popularity of online classes, most institutes will seek and attain authorization from the authorities for online courses. Such classes will have as much validity as conventional classes. Students in the United States of American can easily take lessons from teachers in India through the internet. With digital whiteboards and extremely fast internet connection in the future, the possibilities are endless.
- Languages through an app on a smartphone:
With smarter smartphones and ultra-modern apps, by the year 2020, students will have apps to learn languages on their phones. This will enable them to learn languages when on the move with the possibility to record their voices to check for correct pronunciation, correct intonation, and accent.
- Quality education will be accessible to the masses:
With rapid internet access available to all, so will good quality education. Chinese, Indian or American students will be able to sign up for any course that is available online in England. Of course, there will be paid classes and tutorials but there will be so many offered from all over the world that fee rates will be low and easily affordable.
These are the changes I foresee in another 10 years but I’m pretty sure there will be more changes in education. Doesn’t it look like a lot of fun?