Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Future of Education

As I read this month's The Futurist magazine, I quickly turn to look at their Outlook on Education for 2011.  Her are several points from the articles that they site:
  • the notion of class time as separate from non-class time will vanish.
Janna Anderson says in Remaking Education for a New Century:  "We need to move away from the format of school time and non-school time, which is no longer necessary."
  • self-directed learning will be the most important skill
 She continues "More importantly, we need to teach kids to value self-directed learning, teach them how to learn on their own terms, and how to create an individual time schedule. "
  • internet education AND social networking will be important learning tools
"We need to combine face time with learning online. And we can’t be afraid to use the popular platforms like text-messaging and social networks. As those tools become more immersive, students will feel empowered and motivated to learn on their own — more so than when they were stuck behind a desk."
  • classes won't matter
"We need to remove the old books that no one has opened in twenty years and put them in nearby storage. What we do need are places were people can gather — places that foster an atmosphere of intellectual expansion, where learners can pursue deeper meaning or consult specialists with access to deep knowledge resources. It’s all about people accessing networked knowledge, online, in person, and in databases."

  • non-digital tools will become important parts of curricula again

"In 2020, schools will indeed sport fabulous gadgets, devices, and interfaces of learning, but each school will also have one contrary space, a small preserve that has no devices or access, no connectivity at all. There, students will study basic subjects without screens or keyboards present — only pencils, books, old newspapers and magazines, blackboards and slide rules."

"That’s because over the next 10 years, educators will recognize that certain aspects of intelligence are best developed with a mixture of digital and nondigital tools."

"Writing by hand, students will give more thought to the craft of composition. They will pause over a verb, review a transition, check sentence lengths, and say, “I can do better than that.”

"Disconnectivity, then, serves a crucial educational purpose, forcing students to recognize the technology everywhere around them and to see it from a critical distance."
  • schools will see the benefit in teaching basic subjects like interpersonal skills, self-discipline and responsibility

Gary Marx, president of the Center for Public Outreach says:

"Schools have always taught math, reading, and writing, but curricula needs to broaden to include new subjects: interpersonal skills, information accessing, media literacy, self-discipline, responsibility, and use of computers and other technologies."

"He also encouraged teachers to move toward more "active learning," such as group exercises, class discussions, and other exercises that allow the students to interact with the course material."

Another interesting point to note is that:

  • the future will have too many PhDs

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