The future of learning

A few days ago I visited my hometown in Slovakia and passed by the school I used to go every day for 8 years.

The school not just looked the same from outside, but (from what I’ve heard) nothing much changed inside either. Some of my teachers still work there!

A school "Gymnazium Martina Kukucina" in my hometown in Revúca, Slovakia.
A school “Gymnazium Martina Kukucina” in my hometown in Revúca, Slovakia.

Beyond the school walls, everything has changed:

  • Smart phones I couldn’t even dream of 20 years ago.
  • Voice-directed, artificial-intelligence powered interface is constantly with us (Google Home in an apartment, Siri on the go).
  • Billions of devices and sensors connected to internet.
  • Affordable drones and self-driving cars.
  • Digital and audio books. Unlimited.
  • Augmented or virtual reality.
  • Zillions of online courses from individual experts and universities.
  • AI-powered machines replacing human workers across all industries.

Given the above, how come the educational system has not changed at all?

The current (public) education system was established before internet, before online learning was available.

How come the curriculum or methods have not evolved?

Children still go for lectures, sit and listen for 45 minutes, take notes, read books, and take tests once in a month or two.

In the future, the new model should include the web and online content.

Esther Wojcicki, an author of Moonshots in Education, says:

The future of education is complex problem-solving through collaborative leadership in increasingly diverse & challenging settings.

Hiram Chodosh, a President of the Claremont McKenna College, encourages schools to build new training programs focusing on these three capabilities:

  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Courage

Peter Diamandis, a chairman of the Singularity University, sees the following skills as the most important for our children to nurture:

  • Passion — help your children discover their purpose
  • Curiosity — should lead to constant learning
  • Grit, drive

Trans-disciplinary problem solving should become the new standard. But how long will it take to change the curriculum from scratch? Retrain the teachers? Get new materials approved by the school boards?

Given the fast pace of change outside of schools, and slow pace inside, I believe we, parents, need to take care of our children’s education ourselves.

There are so many options how to educate and accelerate them outside of a regular public school. We just need to be open-minded!

How can EdTech help us? Let me know your thoughts in comments!