Education in the Future

In the early days of human history, education was the process of passing on knowledge from one individual to another in an informal and usually ad hoc arrangement. Then we learned to document knowledge and it became possible to distribute the learning of knowledge and formalize the process into the teacher and school paradigm. Over the years, that process has grown from small and local schools to colleges and then large universities established so that students from many areas can travel there to obtain learning in a variety of subjects. The teacher has advanced from a subject matter expert to generalists who are trained in the art of teaching and usually follow a curriculum established by a subject expert.

Today we see our current education environment morphing from an expensive and ritualized process to one that is becoming increasingly inexpensive and free form. Self paced, online courses and teaching videos distributed freely over the internet are changing education.

Many of us can remember a special teacher who seemed to have a knack for creating interest or even inspiration in the subject they taught. Likewise, in many cases, the ineptitude of dull and boring teachers has created subject ignorance holes and even an aversion to a particular area of knowledge. This suggests that in the future, a premium will be placed on those teachers that have the ability to inspire a desire for learning.

With the ability to easily mass distribute quality learning materials, the cost per student of producing them drops. In the future we can expect learning to be inexpensive, at least at general education levels. AI software will be used to categorize subject materials and present it in a gradient order designed to minimize learning difficulty. The best teachers will become available widely. Learning experiences will be incorporated into our daily lives as they are needed and desired.

This leads us to a self organized learning process that is an ongoing life-long process sparked by curiosity, self interest, and needs. The knowledge needed to sustain this will be available everywhere, anytime, and inexpensive or free. High quality levels in learning design provided by the “best of the best” in teaching skills and expert system software will reduce most resistance to learning. We will learn faster, more often, and accumulate the specific knowledge we need or desire to expand the limits of our wisdom.

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