What does the future of education have in store for us?

As we had shed some light on education in the industrial period in my previous post, arguing that these roots are fundamentally intertwined in the fabrics of contemporary universities, let’s take a look at current trends and developments. I believe that the Internet and technological advancements in multimedia are two factors to be reckoned with.

What you can learn on the web

education online

education online (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Nowadays you are able to retrieve just about any piece of information from the web, I for example had to learn how to tie a tie to work by myself. Not surprisingly I found a tutorial online ( along with 4.5 million other people ) and voilà. Had a cardio exercise program that I wanted to do, also available on the web. Needed a new recipe to impress that significant other with my cooking skills, piece of cake. And with this enormous knowledge database, are we going to use it for toying around with mobile apps such as Talking Tom? There are also some bright ideas on how to make the world a better place with the gaming industry, but let’s focus on education.

Recent development suggest, that some of us had already taken online educational potential seriously. Early movers are already on the rise and some some of the most prestigious universities such as MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania had rolled out some selected classes online. In this manner, they are  giving an huge number of students worldwide access to higher education while partnering up with online course providers. These span from a variety of business models, the majority offering these courses to students for free. Yes, MOOC is the new buzz word.

Over a million already served

University of Maryland to Offer Four Free Cour...

Free Courses Through Coursera (Photo credit: University of Maryland Press Releases)

Would be the headline, if it were a fast food industry. It is obvious that this trend is on the rise and its wheels are set in motion. How wouldn’t it be? You have the possibility to take subjects of your interest varying from psychology to artificial intelligence offered from the best universities. You are allowed to tailor it to your time schedule and do the assignments within a time frame that best suits you. And to top it off, it’s free. At least in most cases and for now. There are some questions that arise though. What is the quality of the programs? Can it really measure up to “the real deal”? What about the certifications and who is going to acknowledge them? Is it going to cause a disruption in education? It’s certainly something that just might have a profound impact on the educational systems world wide and change the rules of the game.

What else needs to change

Dan Meyer believes that Math class needs a makeover and the most important role of a teacher is being able to inspire his students and motivate them to stay hungry for knowledge. I believe that this applies to all subjects in question including ones that develop creativity and are still not a part of our compulsory curriculum. As the Japanese saying goes: There’s no such thing as bad students, only bad teachers.

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