Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Education & Training in 2050

We all ought to take some time to consider what the world in which we live will look like in 2050 and beyond. I know I try to, especially since my kids, grandkids, and maybe some great grandkids will not only be around then - but will be around well into the 22nd century.

The following is an extensive brainstorming list of new technologies, needs, processes, projections, and predictions about the field of Education & Training come the year 2050. You might find it interesting and may want to add some thoughts of your own.

The list of expected changes below was extracted from numerous recent interviews, articles, reports, and studies by various groups around the world focused not only on the education and training industry, but on the future of society in America and around the world.

So here goes! Expect some of the following technologies, processes, scenarios, and predictions to become the reality your kids and their families will be dealing with in the coming decades.
Image result for education technology


Technology will have a tremendous impact on the future of Education & Training. However it will take a decades to more fully develop, test, evaluate, and integrate the many new technologies into the field of Education & Training. Right now we are just at the beginning of major changes. Think about the following technologies and the impact they will have on educational institutions, educators, students, publishing houses, governments, ...

Mobile technology
Wearable systems
Implantable systems
Brain Interface Technologies
Social Media & eLearning
Virtual Reality
Virtual Classrooms
Augmented reality
Artificial intelligence
Language Translation Technology
Multimedia educational materials
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)
Learning Companion (AI device)
Free & Open Source Software
Free & Open Access Textbooks

As these new technologies evolve and are woven into the field of Education & Training, what will the impact be on educational institutions, educators, trainers, administrative staff, support staff and more?

  • Teachers will become experts in new technologies and how to best use them in different settings.
  • The role of teachers will shift towards becoming education coaches, mentors, career counselors...
  • 'Personalized education' programs tailored to individual needs and capabilities will develop.
  • Accelerated learning programs for students with advanced capabilities will increase.
  • Students will be equipped with some form of artificial intelligence device that will serve as a 'learning companion'.
  • People will have a lifespan of 100 years, a work-span of 80 years and the reality of at least 6 careers and 14 jobs in this time.
  • Life-long learning will be needed by all humans to adapt to the global economy of the 21st century. 
  • Education and training programs will need to be developed and tailored for all age groups.
  • The education system will be redefined, including the mission, purpose, structure and funding of schools.
  • Fully accredited cost-competitive private, online schools and universities will dominate the education landscape by 2050.
  • Global education and training institutions will serve students around the world.
  • Human illiteracy will be largely eliminated around the world by 2050.
  • Intelligent classrooms will largely occur in virtual space.
  • Home schooling and distance learning solutions will dominate the landscape. 
  • Most 'brick and mortar' campuses will be local commuter campuses allowing for face-to-face learning opportunities when needed.
  • Free and 'open source' education software and tools will be available to all.
  • Free and 'open access' to most of the world's knowledge and information will be available to everyone.
  • Use of 'open access' textbooks and journals will dramatically lower the cost of education.
  • Accelerated learning programs will let motivated students complete their education at a pace best suited to their capabilities and needs.
  • Higher education will drastically rethink their curriculum, focusing more on critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills than a specific concentration.
  • All education programs will include research activities that take advantage of 'open data' resources.
  • Ongoing, lifelong vocational training will be made available to those in the country's workforce.
  • Teacher compensation will change as the importance of their role, level of expertise, and range of skills increase.
  • Individuals will receive credit for life experience and receive certificates of expertise in lieu of college degrees.
  • Institutions will be forced to collect and share data on quality of courses, course completion rates, costs, student hiring...
  • Governments will subsidize and/or provide free education for all citizens, including college courses.
  • Student loans and debt will become a thing of the past.

  • In addition to going global, by 2050 interplanetary education programs may begin to emerge as colonies begin to be established on the moon and Mars.
  • Local commuter campuses will provide students with access to sophisticated hi-tech learning environments when needed.

What else do you think will happen by 2050? What else should be added to the list of brainstorming ideas, projections, and predictions about changes in the field of Education & Training across the US and around the world