30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028

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30-ways-tech30 Incredible Ways Technology Will Change Education By 2028

by Terry Heick

Technology is changing at a rapid pace, so much so that it’s challenging to grasp.

While there is little uniformity in technology, there are some trends worth noting that have spurred tangent innovation, including speed (a shift from dial-up top broad band), size (from huge computers to small handheld devices), and connectivity (through always-on apps and social media).

In fact, we have some to expect nearly instant obsolescence—smartphone contracts that last a mere 24 months seem like ages. Whether this is a matter of trend or function is a matter of perspective, but it’s true that technology is changing—and not just as a matter of power, but tone.

In 2013, technology has become not just a tool, but a standard and matter of credibility. While learning by no means requires technology, to design learning without technology is an exercise in spite—proving a point at the cost of potential. And it’s difficult to forget how new this is.

Fifteen years ago, a current high school sophomore was born.

So was Google.

It’s hard to recall what life was life before Google. In that 15 years, it has gone from a way to search the mess of web pages with your Netscape browser, to a ubiquitous digital brand that powers Android smartphones, hosts not just videos but full-on learning channels, stores all of your personal communication in the cloud, has leap-frogged Skype with Google+ Hangouts, and autocompletes your searches for you in an eerie kind of hive-mind. Oh, and Google Street View, virtual museum tours, and the most powerful way to find information known to man. 

In 15 years.

What happens to technology in the next 15 years may not simply impact learning in a typical cause-effect relationship. Rather, it might be the case that one absorbs the other, where information access, socializing ideas, and creative collaboration may be organic and completely invisible.

2014

Smarter MOOCs slowly correct the crude whenever, wherever models of the past, beginning to improve the credibility of eLearning.

Improved blended learning models provide schools struggling to justify themselves in light of modern access to information with new options—and a new purpose.

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2015

Adaptive computer-based testing slowly begins to replace one-size-fits-all assessment of academic proficiency.

Learning simulations begin to replace direct instruction.

Game-Based Learning continues to be sparsely adopted, primarily used in project-based learning units and occurring on mobile devices with limited interactive inputs and screenspace that compromise game-based learning’s potential.

Apps will continue to supplement textbooks in some districts, replace them in others.

2018

Technology to promote early literacy habits is seeded by venture capitalists. This is the start of new government programs that start farming out literacy and educational programs to start-ups, entrepreneurs, app developers, and other private sector innovators.

Digital literacy begins to outpace academic literacy in some fringe classrooms.

Custom multimedia content is available as the private sectors create custom iTunesU courses, YouTube channels, and other holding areas for content that accurately responds to learner needs.

Improved tools for measuring text complexity emerge, available through the camera feature of a mobile device, among other possibilities.

Open Source learning models will grow faster than those closed, serving as a hotbed for innovation in learning.

Purely academic standards, such as the Common Core movement in the United States, will begin to decline. As educators seek curriculum based not on content, but on the ability to interact, self-direct, and learn, institutionally-centered artifacts of old-age academia will lose credibility.

Visual data will replace numerical data as schools struggle to communicate learning results to disenfranchised family and community members.

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2020

Cloud-Based Education will be the rule, not the exception. This will start simply, with better aggregation of student metrics, more efficient data sharing, and more visual assessment results.

Seamless peer-to-peer and school-to-school collaboration begins to appear in some districts.

Schools function as think-tanks to address local and global challenges such as clean water, broadband access, human trafficking, and religious intolerance.

Diverse learning forms begin to supplement school—both inside , including entrepreneurial learning, invisible learning, question-based learning, and open source learning.

Self-Directed Learning studios and other alternative methods of formal education for families.

2024

“Culture” will no longer be “integrated into units,” but embedded into social learning experiences, including poverty, race, language, and other trademarks of what it means to be human.

Dialogic learning through digital media will have learners responding to peers, mentors, families, and experts in a socially-embraced collaborative pattern.

Learning simulations begin to replace teachers in some eLearning-based learning environments.

Truly mobile learning will support not just moving from one side of the classroom to another, but from a learning studio to a community, whether physically or through a Google+ or Skype-like technology.

Personalized learning algorithms will be the de facto standard in schools that continue the traditional academic learning approach.

The daily transition from eLearning and face-to-face learning will more elegant, but still a challenge for many districts and states, especially those with considerable economic deficits. Among other changes, this will create minor “migratory ripples” as families move in response to educational disparity.

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2028

Biometrics—the feedback of biological responses including sweat gland stimulation, heart rate, eye position, and other data–will provide real-time learning feedback not just for educators, but for-profit organizations for the purpose of analytics, market research, and ultimately consumerism.

Learning simulations begin to replace teachers, and some schools.

Diverse learning forms begin to replace school just as the old-model of content–>curriculum–>data–>personalized academic learning is honed to perfection.

Schools as we know them will now be outnumbered, no longer just supplemented by eLearning, blended learning, and self-directed learning platforms, but incredible learning simulations and full-on virtual worlds.

Remaining schools that refuse to adapt to new technology and cultural trends will cause splintering in some communities as the significant cost of technology integration increases socio-economic gaps.

Seamless Heads-Up Displays will equip learners with information, feedback of performance, and social data in real-time.

New certificates of achievement and performance that are social, portfolio-based, and self-selected will begin to replace institutional certificates, including college degrees.

Image attribution flickr user flickeringbrad; Envisioning Tech;  Matador Network; TeachThought; Stanford University; Gamespot

  • http://www.bascom.com Fred McKenna

    The road map presented for education over the next 15 years looks amazing. My concern is that education has traditionally been a very conservative profession and change is slow. For example, we have rapidly adopted iPads as a learning platform but rarely using them in creative ways. Teaching is still largely teacher/lecture focused. Even the innovative Kahn Academy videos are focused on a more traditional lecture format.

    Reforms such as these need more than amazing technology, they require a willingness to change and adapt to the innovations that research tells us work to improve learning.

    Fred McKenna
    Dir. of Special Projects.
    http://www.bascom.com

  • Bill

    I would agree with you regarding education being conservative and slow to change. Nevertheless, I think the there are pockets of successful models that integrate technology as part of their core throughout education. (ie. Rocketship Education, other districts using blended learning approaches) The bigger issue remains that no centralized effort exist regarding R & D(Research & Development) within education. Districts should be able to examine other school districts that have successfully integrated technology instead of reinventing the wheel.

    Without any models or centralized mechanisms to borrow and implement, schools are forced to be conservative and subject themselves to the status quo.

    • Terry Heick

      Well said!

  • Steve

    Nope. Teachers are not being replaced with eLearning or virtual worlds. A majority of students, especially at the high school level, will NOT be self-motivated enough for self-directed learning. There is a crises of non-accountability with students and expectations from parents, especially in urban districts.

    Parents have been moving for better schools for 40 years; this is not new or revolutionary. Disparity in finances in different districts is equally historical.

    The tools available to teachers and used in schools will continue to evolve. Technology is great, but it’s a tool. Creative teachers will make the best of any tools they are given.

    Teaching is not driven by technology. Learners will take advantage of all the opportunities available to them. But those kind of students will learn in practically every situation. It’s the much larger group of students who need the personal attention of a teacher. That will never change.

    • Eddie

      I was a high school teacher out in phoenix for 2 years, and brophy prep adapted the system of every single student using a laptop. They are ALL motivated by self-direct learning and it pays ridiculous dividends on their cognitive growth. We have to remember that these kids only known technology. Its plato’s cave analogy where these kids only know what they know, and that is technology in learning based initiatives. Rather than fight, let’s work with it to evolve the human race further.

    • terryheick

      Not motivated within the current model. Other models promote different things. Current models depend on compliance, which stifles motivation.