19/07/2022 ElanWave

Predictions on How Education Will Look Like in 2025, 2030, and 2050

When schoolchildren are taken on tours to history of education museums to see how classrooms of yore looked like, they are rather surprised that nothing has changed much.

Rows of benches and a blackboard in the front is pretty much how classrooms look like today, despite all the technological innovations.

What has remained the same?

The thing is, the core principle and the form of education haven't changed much over the centuries. On the other hand, this doesn't mean that the educational structure has remained the same.

For instance, many more students get a change to participate, resulting in some impressive figures, such as the nearly 100% literacy rate in countries like Andorra, Norway, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein.

When compared to the Middle Ages, such rates are unimaginable (although the present classroom layout wouldn't surprise an Ancient Roman than much).

What is changing?

Apparently, frontal instruction as a teaching method is here to stay but in what ways will the educational system palpably change in the decades to come?

Homeschooling is on the rise

Before public schools, there was homeschooling but the 21st century has altered the concept altogether. Namely, homeschooling today opens new avenues of opportunities for pupils, as they have greater freedom to learn what they want and when they want it.

Moreover, their parents are relieved of the taxes and fees even public schools still charge. Statistics show that homeschooled children excel at all subjects, from reading skills to understanding everyday politics better.

Learning will become personalized

A major drawback of “ex cathedra” teaching is that all the children learn the same lesson simultaneously. However, this is expected to change in the coming decades, as personalized learning models will take offer.

When a student is doing well in a class, they will get the option to be challenged with harder tasks, and vice versa, students who underperform would get less complex tasks.

A self-paced curriculum will be at the heart of advanced learning platforms that would put the individual and their skills in the center, rather than being tailored for the masses.

A school won't be a building

Even though libraries and laboratories are necessary, schools of the future won't necessarily be brick-and-mortar structures. As the classroom migrates online, so will entire schools, enabling ease of access for students who would normal have to travel many miles to reach a physical location.

E-learning platforms have yet to develop

Speaking of the online classroom, e-learning platforms will supplant entire universities. They would come with a myriad of advantages, some of which include virtual reality, the ability to study at any time and at any place, the ability to study while working, self-paced lessons, etc.

We're getting there with VR and AR

Perhaps the apex of developing e-learning platforms is the successful implantation of virtual and augmented reality. There are already a number of mixed reality platforms that were created with classroom use in mind.

On the other side, the technology is still rather expensive to be used extensively but this is expected to gradually change in the near future.

The affordability of e-learning

Having mentioned the cost of VR and AR, we have to say that overall, the cost of education is expected to drop, not rise, in the coming decades.

This is because the student's physical presence will be required less and less, meaning everybody who is willing to study will have access to education, even if they live half the world away from the prestigious university they attend.

Gamification will speed up

Fictional universes, i.e. metaverses, are best accessible and interesting to children through video games. More and more educational games will be developed to boost learner interest, as entire course syllabi become gamified.

Education on the go

In some places, getting a degree is already as easy as getting a cappuccino to go! Joking aside, education will continue to shift toward mobility, meaning that homework can be done on the laptop in the nearby café and classes attended via a smartphone.

Social skills will enter the curriculum

It is more than evident that social and emotional skills are paramount in the present-day workplace. However, formal education has so far failed to acknowledge this.

Therefore, future schools will teach about the development of social and emotional intelligence, as well as problem-solving and communication skills.

Teachers will take a step back

Today, teachers are in charge of the learning process but their role is already shifting toward assistance, rather than instruction. Teachers are destined to become guides that will help direct every pupil into a life and career path that suits individual students the best.

In order to achieve this, teachers should be adept at identifying the strengths, talents, and interests of their students.

Visual learning will take precedence

It is nothing new that students better learn when they use mnemonics, i.e. when they have an image or a graph to go with a lesson.

Future education will play this to its advantage and implement visual learning as the main teaching aid. This trend is closely related to the importance of graphic design, visual communication, and user interface in the IT industry.

The timeline

All of the shifts (and quakes) in education we have listed above won't occur instantaneously. For instance, e-learning platforms are already a reality but en masse use of VR and AR is still decades away.

Here is a short timeline of how innovation in education will play out in the coming years.

In 2025:

  • many EdTechs will be further developed (i.e. e-learning platforms)
  • new techs in education will gain more and more users
  • first schools are expected to go fully online
  • university online degree programs will expand
  • 5G Internet's speed will allow VR and AR classes to be held online

In 2030:

  • VR and AR will be used extensively in natural sciences
  • metaverse will become a common teaching tool
  • students' grades and accomplishments will be in blockchain, eliminating the possibility of malversation
  • nearly half of school children will work in jobs that won't exist at the time

In 2050:

  • the job market will require skills that weren't taught in 2022
  • VR and AR will be used for taking exams
  • teachers will have become consultants, as frontal instruction is all but abolished
  • No more paper or e-textbooks, as all learning is visual

Having stagnated for centuries, education is finally going to undergo deep changes by 2050. The classroom that we know (and love) is going to be replaced with a more mobile and personalized concept of learning.

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