The other day someone asked me what I thought of the future of education. Here are five trends that popped out of nowhere. After discussing these with a group of friends, I decided put what I said in a blog post. Here are five trends that jump out at me for the future of education.
1. Openness – I think this trend started years ago. There is a huge feeling that education should be open and public and in this trend we have open access to research and raw data at our finger tips. We are starting to believe that we don’t-individually- have to hold a body of knowledge in our heads—-but we are aware that knowledge both researched, tested, and raw data are available via networks- Internet, social networks, blogs, etc. More 21st century educators are opening their thinking to others in public sharing networks. Those willing to be transparent with their practices in their classrooms are booming, learning, and growing as educators- leaps and bounds. And the same holds true for students whose teachers allow this to happen in their learning environments. We are not yet at the tip of the iceberg.
2. Greater insight into the knowledge creation process – From brain research theory to observing kids learn, when have gained valuable insight in how knowledge is created. Books, articles, raw data in blogs from educators, tweets, micro-blogs have been valuable as we learn. We now have so many real practitioners in the classroom who are willing to tell their story the about the knowledge creation happening in their classroom and how it happens. We now have teacher practitioners focusing on how knowledge is created and we are now at point that the output matters totally.
3. Mobile learning. – Two things pop into mind with this trend. First, many kids now have their own mobile device- laptops, iPads, netbooks, iPods, and the list goes own. Our school infrastructures must change to allow those who are able to bring their own into the learning environment. But most importantly with this shift, new thinking by teacher practitioners will lead the way that learning is and should be available 24×7. Once the infrastructures in place teachers will lead the way as we make learning more connective and networked. Second, the tools for learning and the classroom itself is now mobile. This realization will happen has lessons and instructions are flipped to the network that can be shared through mobile devices.
4. Changed role of the teacher- We will finally get rid of the idea that the teacher is the sole expert in the classroom. This is so important to the shift that is taking place in our world, and the shift that needs to happen in our classrooms. It is essential that we allow our students to have more direction in their own learning and give them the opportunity to share their expertise with others. We will see teachers carrying out more professional inquiries about teaching and learning while kids are learning in their shared learning networks. There will be a notion that the expert may be a student, or another source outside the wall of the classroom.
4. Alternative forms of assessment – The word alternate forms will be so outdated. I don’t think standardized test will leave but how we think about them politically and internally (inside the school) will change. NCLB behind will have major impacts for historians for years to come as they write about education in America. School Systems will be brave and define their own measures of success using multiple assessment systems. I suspect this will be hotly debated but the winner will be those systems that dumps an artificial setting and that dumps them out on the other end with no real connection to who “they” are and what “they” are passionate about. They will no longer be is measured by the ability to memorize and regurgitate facts someone unknown to them thinks are important. Unfortunately memorization and regurgitation have little to no value in the world for which they were supposed to be prepared.
5. Rethinking the classroom environment – This goes hand-in-hand with the curricula redesign necessitated by alternative forms of assessment. How should we build new (or reorganize existing) classrooms? When we think about classrooms we have to think beyond the four walls and we must think of the classroom as a global space. The environment is bigger than the classroom space but not limited.