2020 Vision

I read a post by Tina Barseghian on the Mind/Shift Blog entitled '21 things that will be obselete by 2020' today, which prompted me to start a conversation on Twitter to discuss what we think school would look like in another decade or less. Discussions are still ongoing in projects such as Purpos/ed about what education should be for/about, and gazing into the future challenges our ideas similarly. By thinking about what the future may look like for schools, we reflect on what we would like to see. By doing this, we critically evaluate where we are and where we have come from. I took this picture at a hi-tech convention and trade fair in Germany last month. In among all the shiny technology vendor stands sat this anacronism - a replication of the school classroom that I recall from my primary school days. The only thing missing was the inkwells, knibs and paper. The organisers had obviously done this for a purpose. For me, the purpose was to cause people to remember where we have come from in our personal journeys through education. It was also to remind us never to go back to that kind of education, but instead to move forwards. I am left asking my own question - what is my vision for education in the future?

In 2020, will we wander around learning technology exhibitions (or museums) and see simulations of computers with keyboard and mice? Will there actually be any physical exhibitions and museums? Will we gaze upon exhibits of school ICT suites and smile? And will our grandchildren sit on our knees and ask us - did you really have to touch computers to make them work?

What will school look like in the next 10 years? Will be still send children to school? Will there still be classrooms? What will the roles of teachers be in the next 10 years? Will they still be doing the same things? What will assessment of learning look like and what forms will it take? What new forms will technology take to facilitate mobile, anytime, anyplace learning? What will the curriculum look like and what will it contain? Just as importantly, what will be left out? Will teachers still experience the same problems of state interference, time and space pressures and lack of resources? Or will there be other, even more serious problems? Over the next few posts on this blog I'm going to attempt to discuss these questions, and I intend to draw on the comments received from readers and those who have already contributed their ideas on Twitter. The hashtag to use is #learning2020. Let's have a dialogue which may help us to see where we have come from and where we need to go, to secure quality learning for the next 10 years and beyond.
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2020 Vision by Steve Wheeler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Brian Kuhn said…
It's good to see more people thinking longer term. The future arrives faster than we expect and it takes time to shift a system like education to be ready for it.

I think there will be schools and teachers but purpose and roles will be different. Schools are great places to bring students together to work together physically present - caters to a human need to be together. Technology shouldn't replace that but rather extend and enhance it. Teachers will be less content providers and more learning coaches and guides. Certainly in a child's early years they need to be fed but the shift to learner from consumer should happen early so that they feed themself content under the guidance of their teachers and parents. Teachers will teach process, attitudes, skills, values, and students will use this learning to uncover content, apply it, share their learning with others, etc. Classroom time will be work time, probably multi-aged (grade-less) cross curricular, and scheduled as needed. Technology will be a key enabler to all individual and social learning and working with content.

I've written about this topic previously - you might enjoy these stories of the future:

I look forward to reading your next few posts on this.
Alex Bellars said…
The reason is takes "Education" (with a large E) so long to shift is that, while teachers work to find ways to circumscribe bureaucratic obstacles and limitations placed in their way by The System, instead placing The Learner at the centre of "education" (with a small e), there is a simultaneous process, driven by ideologically-driven politicians, to create more, different obstacles. The greatest gift our political servants could do us would be to remove Education (with either a large OR a small e) from the political arena entirely and allow it to happen, very much in the way that you propose, Brian...
peps said…
Inspired by your 2020 vision series I have written a post on 2020 academic reporting. Hope that okay!


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