Alas, in many aspects, school education has not changed since the days of ancient Greece: a teacher, a textbook, a student, a class – everything in its place. Large university centers are the main source of scientific knowledge, but they still use the medieval-style methodology.
However, the power of scientific progress is inexorable. Even the most impregnable fortresses of sacred traditions fall under its pressure. It’s not about the fantastic technologies of instant knowledge transfer, but about new systems and concepts that promise to change the industry in the most radical way in the next 500 years. The good news is that teachers still will be needed, although, over the next decades, they will have to look for new approaches to their work.
Distance learning technologies
The revolution in mobile technology and the invention of the Internet already affect our habits of consuming knowledge. And although the school and the university are still the cornerstones of the learning process, the classical model slowly becomes a thing of the past. Knowledge breaks out of traditional educational practices.
Today, anyone who has online access is able to independently collect information from open sources and to get enough qualification on a large number of issues without unnecessary bureaucratic fuss. The mass online courses like Coursera, represented by the world’s largest universities, made not only basic education but also a fundamental science widely accessible. In addition, there are many useful auxiliary websites, such as paper writing service.
Self-education becomes a new paradigm of the modern lifestyle. The popularity of webinars and resources like “Wikipedia” demonstrates an important trend that grows like a snowball. Learning is no longer the prerogative of the young people. The pace of development of science and the introduction of innovations leave no other choice. To remain an expert in your field, you should not lose a competitive advantage.
Already today the number of network universities is not limited to one dozen, and the quantity of the taught material grows in progression. In the coming decades, this trend will only increase. In connection with the great volume of offers in the market of remote education, the curator’s profession will become relevant.
The concept of personalized education stands on two pillars: differentiated educational paths for students and feedback, allowing to determine these paths without lowering the quality of the knowledge and skills obtained. The main responsibilities in the framework of such programs still lay on the teachers themselves, but very soon, new technologies will come to aid.
They exist already today and are called adaptive learning systems. One of the most popular developments, Knewton, uses student activity tracking and analysis of big data to give personal recommendations on the trajectory of learning.
Virtual and augmented reality
It will also be useful to work with the latest presentation systems. Today, these are virtual, augmented reality technologies and holographic 3D interfaces. Palmer Luckey, the creator of the helmet Oculus Rift hopes that in the future, his offspring will be used not only for entertainment. Already now, more than 100 educational applications are available in the Oculus store. The developers of the impressive HoloLens technology are also confident that very soon, their invention will become an integral part of the learning process.
Online universities will also need their own lab technicians, methodologists, deans who, in addition to their usual skills, will have knowledge of computer technologies and programming.
Almost any school or university profession will be presented in digital format. Even the teacher of technology and design will have to master 3D-printing and modeling, and a physical culture trainer should know how to work with trackers and big data.
The penetration of immersive technology into the education system is mainly due to the games. During several years, gamification was shaking the whole industries, but most of all – schools. Interactive training promises to solve the problem of boredom of the generation that grew up with a tablet in hand. Educational games may not only deal with complex problems but also build systems of interaction between students, immersing the class in the necessary historical, social or political atmosphere.
To imagine how this all will work in 20 years, we can use the examples of such programs as SimCity Edu or CodeSpells. Now, gaming is still at the beginning of its journey, but it’s easy to assume to which extent the technology will be in demand, and that the designers of educational gaming worlds, their moderators will necessarily appear on the labor market.
And despite all the new technologies, it is obvious that, even after several decades, the profession of the teacher will be in demand and interesting as never before.