The Future of School

My Take

The Future of SchoolMy Take

My Take

What will schools look like 5,10,20 years from now? Hmmmm. I think that is a question that a lot of schools are not comfortable asking themselves. Is the current environment of teaching prepared for the inevitable future? I’d argue no. In fact, I believe that the inevitable make-up of schools will be far different from what we have today. Even the purpose may be different. But to keep things *somewhat* imaginable, I’ll start at the top — at the university level, and go through my thoughts.

Here is how I envision the future of university schooling…

I imagine a world where I can take the topics that I am interested in taught by the best teachers in the world. Well, duh…I think that is what everyone would want in an education. So how?

Well, it’s already starting (slowly) — resources like Khan Academy as well as many top institutions offer awesome content online — available for FREE! But this is just the beginning — more and more institutions, specifically top-level professors and teachers, experts in their respective fields, will begin recording and publishing content online.

Imagine this world: I am a student that wants to take a course on American Politics.

Forget waitlists. I can filter to find the best teacher in the world on the overall subject that I am interested in. I can also filter further — looking for particular lectures that are relevant to the subject. Every class, every concept, is curated for me.

Wait a second…is that how it should work?

See…I think that logic works with the assumption that everyone learns the same way. But we know that is not true. Everyone is a “special snowflake” and takes in material differently. The role of a teacher in intimate settings in the ideal world is to cater this material specifically to their students. Consider this all the little things — re-explaining subject matter and using applicable and relevant examples.

How is a video supposed to account for these externalities?

The truthful answer is that it is not. That is why I see the future of school looking a bit different than a bunch of students on video.

I see a future — perhaps 15 years out — where students come to class not to learn subjects but rather to engage in discussion.

A teacher’s role, rather, is to engage students in propelling discussion and continually clarify material.

It is difficult to scale this sort of style — that is why I refrain from pushing forward with this prediction to all schools. I want to limit it to the scope of private universities.

Looking Forward

People really do not like changing, especially large institutions. So a shift in the way classes are taught would be delayed on all fronts.

But I believe that the best universities will lead this push to make education more accessible to all. And these universities will be able to differentiate themselves, distinguishing their names by publishing the best content available on the internet for all to absorb. Their influence will continue to increase as their content reaches more people.

If Universities are unable to do this — they will become undifferentiated.

The top schools all already have nice campuses and great resources available. The only fundamental difference between schools (from an academic perspective) is the quality of lecturers. Without that advantage — what differentiates two top-tier universities.

Evolve, or die.

Or we could all drop out like Daniel Singer, after all the Cost of College is not cheap.

Let’s keep the conversation going ! Let’s see something happen.

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Tagged in Education, Teaching, Technology

By jordangonen on April 28, 2016.

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Exported from Medium on February 17, 2018.