Education is considered a right on its own and a fundamental resource on a global scale. While access and universalisation had been key drivers during the last century, recent technological changes, focus the attention on “efficiency”.
In the years to come, the way people learn may not change, but their focus and the tools they use might. As technology and workplaces evolve, they will have to keep pace by learning new subjects and acquiring the latest skills. Next, you will find a glance at the disruption within education and the external factors that will influence the future of it.
People’s Expectations of Future Education
Education is the process that enables learning or gaining knowledge and skills. It has begun changing, in that people no longer restrict themselves to a certain period of learning. They are constantly gaining new knowledge and skills. This is known as continuous learning.
In the past, people learned through traditional channels, such as schools and books. Now they receive knowledge and skills through a combination of innovative channels available on the Internet, including search engines, websites, YouTube, and podcasts.
The speed and scope of technological advances is such that many people worry about the future of education. More and more people work on many smaller, simultaneous projects. They expect education to prepare them for such work and cater to their needs of remote learning and self-learning.
Those who still work at offices and do traditional jobs worry that the current educational structure will change completely. They also think that the skills they have and the jobs they do, such as teaching, will become redundant.
Companies, such as Capabilia, who bring together experts, technology and methodology to build personalized and memorable experiences, can address these expectations and concerns. Capabilia creates and delivers digital learning programs that help companies, universities, and institutional clients provide customized learning experiences.
Disruptions in Education
According to educationalists, the current education system is inadequate to overcome the technical skills shortage, and the cognitive and social skills needed for collaborative problem-solving. While technology is capable of handling routine tasks, it is important that people develop skills that are inherently human.
The future of work is about skills and not degrees. However, the stigma of a community college and vocational education and the lack of opportunities to upskill or re skill workers are obstacles in developing skilled workers.
Many who realize this have started various efforts to reinvent education. In future, education will have the following characteristics.
In Sync with Work
Classrooms will adopt more technology, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence (AI) and collaboration platforms, which will give students further access to innovative, helpful tools. For example, robots with AI may help teach them language and social skills.
Nowadays, “non-traditional learners” (university students that are not straight out of high school) make up the majority of the university enrollments worldwide, even more on online programs. The main goal is reskilling or upskilling.
The popularity of remote work and freelancing may bring more focus on project-based, remote and self-paced learning. This will help students learn teamwork, scheduling, and time management. On-the-job training and internships may increase. Businesses will introduce at least some form of remote work (it increases productivity, time management, and efficiency).
As to traditional providers, they are doomed to adapt and retool themselves, otherwise, they will collapse under innovation.
Interactive & Adaptive
Educators will use many strategies to foster student engagement and to give them the opportunity for critical thinking, thoughtfulness of responses and technology will have a leading role in this. Students can expect dynamic interactive learning experiences, including more group and collaborative work. Course content will include elements that suit learners’ digital habits, such as videos, digital simulations, and games.
Learning will adapt to student capabilities. Above average students will take on harder tasks and questions. Those who find certain subjects difficult will spend more time to learn them.
Technology-based adaptive learning tools interact with learners and vary their offerings based upon those interactions. Learners will be able to change their learning process with help from devices or techniques of their choice. They would be able to provide their feedback on course content and durability.
The key is that technology can provide personalisation and interaction at scale, and the current road leads towards a refinement process in which companies and providers are working to find better solutions and improve quality.
Continuous, Alternative & Global
Considering the new inventions that crop up frequently, learners would need to adapt to the opportunities and challenges they bring. Education will not end with college. Learners will have to update their skillset multiple times in their lives.
Students may have to start going to work for employers who offer great jobs as well as an education, which would eventually lead to a great career. And the credentials may not be the traditional college degrees, but alternative ones, which are offering more attractive options and effective learning: micro-credentials, nano-degrees and digital badges all powered by accessible technology which is not constrained by geographics, but is meant to be global. Maria Spies, Managing Director of Holo IQ, stated that: “These emerging models are typically built for global scale, are focussed on servicing new sets of skills required for the 21st Century, move at a fast pace, are not contained within national or geographic boundaries and, for the most part, operate completely outside any regulatory framework”.
Influence of External Factors on Education
Rapid changes in technology will directly influence the nature and future of work, thereby disrupting the job market, the workforce, incomes, and economic growth.
Employers may prefer workers with vocational and skill-based certifications. This will affect how people perceive traditional degrees and diplomas. This could also change the assessments of learners from traditional examinations to tests of vocational and job-related skills.
Governments will have to change education policy to accommodate such changes. Workers will need to commit to lifelong learning and continuous training to update their skills. Educational institutions will also have to adapt, by providing new courses, blended learning, online classrooms, etc.
Education is much more than a means to improve a person’s life. It solves social issues, transmits cultural heritage, and makes the society more civilized and prosperous. The way to tackle the growing demand for change is to rethink and revitalize education, which would help employees, employers, industries and economies thrive in the challenging times ahead.
What do we think about the future
We have to bare in mind that it is expected half a billion more school and university graduates by 2025, and this will come along with an equal demand for speed, quality and the ability to be delivered according to the scale. Thus, investment is essential, yet is not mandatory that governments take over the full responsibility. A partnership private-public arise as a crucial player to support growth, innovation and access.
From market evidence, it is clear that education fall behind in terms of digital investment, “with less than 3% of overall expenditure”, according to Patrick Brothers, managing director and Co-Founder of Holon IQ. In his word, it is expected that 2025 will be the year when “applications of advanced technology in education and learning will begin to hit their strides”.
That is to say, that new and advanced technologies will be integrated to core education, being the corporate and non accredited sectors the ones that will adopt it first.This gives us a hint that during the next few years the progress will not be revolutionary, but that it will be a gradual process of incorporating innovations in a dissimilar and uneven way. All in all, far from being a simple and linear system, education is complex.