Pandemic lockdown revealed not only Digital Divide, but challenges with students engagement, curriculum relevance , limited alternatives for high schoolers to finish education and acquire relevant skills. The education industry will change, and COVID is one of the factors pushing it forward. It is not an evolution, but revolution due to long awaited changes needed.
When changes are long awaited, we can see many startups and vendors offering new technology platforms and solutions, experts developing new Digital Citizenship standards, the entire industry is brainstorming challenges and opportunities. Thought leaders and visionaries are discussing how The Future Campus might look like.
It is clear the education industry will not only change, but it will be changing from now on, at the same pace as technology. It is time for rapid innovations and experiments, and once started it will grow exponentially.
Re-Thinking Education: Trends
- Life-long education is the new normal. Adding new skills constantly is our new normal!
- Schools have been forced to rethink the cost of education.
- Hybrid models of education will be the standard offering. Flexibility and modular approach will dominate.
- How education is being delivered will change. From the cost reduction standpoint Content Delivery might be centralized.
- The Content will be separated from the Content Delivery System. The subject of Math can be delivered by multi-channels..Inspirational and engaging lectures for the subjects that are not changing - like Physics, Mathematics or Geography - can be recorded and available online.
- Curriculum Development and Credentials development will be decentralized. With rapid innovations we need a modular environment and flexibility to develop our own learning plans based on specific tasks and skills to gain.
- Talented Teachers will develop their Personal Brands, and students will be able to choose who they want to study from / with.
- Social component is essential to develop friendship, experience freedom and responsibility, develop professional networks. It will need a physical campus, mostly used for sports and entertainment, as well as open collaborative space.
- The Evaluation system will change too. Credential mechanism to be developed by people you want to get access to. Sounds too radical? Ok, by industry experts you want to be recognized by.
Simply put, we envision everything what is centralized now will be de-centralized, and vice versa.
The purpose of University would be to provide Information, space for collaboration, athletics and sports. The business model will transition to the commercialization of research.
And about students?
Let's put it into the context of Future of Work. In addition to industry specific skills and knowledge we see the demand for critical thinking and analytics, creativity and emotional intelligence.
Students will slowly learn that applying skills are different from the ability to Google the answer. The trends are to apply what you learned, while developing ability for lateral thinking and problem solving. Multidisciplinary approach would help to develop the ability to pull information from different sources & multiple domains, connect dots and get insights by analogy, develop solutions and test hypotheses by prototyping it.
Future of Work needs real life skills of problem solving and multi-disciplinary perspective / ability to synthesize
Teachers and students need to be agile to keep up with the constantly changing environment. When new products become available each year, both teachers and students will need to learn how new technologies function. This may seem like a waste of learning time, but learning new tools is a transferable skill that students will need as they transform from student to employee. Students and teachers who adopt new technologies the quickest will thrive in the fastest online degree programs.
That's why keeping up with technology is a part of the job for both teachers and students.