George Lucas Educational Foundation

Let's Play a Game: What is the Future of Education?

Let's Play a Game: What is the Future of Education?

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For a long time, I used to say that I liked using technology in education because I thought that it made good pedagogy more accessible to more students and teachers. Recently, however, I've come to realize that technology can also make BAD pedagogy easier and more accessible to students as well.

Technology, of course, is the tool, and how that tool is going to be used is really out of control of the inventor and in the hands of the users.

So recognizing that technology has a role in defining the future of education, what do you think that the future looks like? Are we looking at a grassroots utopia or top-down dystopia? Are we student-focused? Score-focused? Evaluation-focused?

So let's play a game. Define your time horizon (how many years from now) and share your stories of the education of the future. Where do things stand? What had to happen to get there? Is your future of education a best-case scenario, worst-case scenario, or somewhere in between?

I can't wait to see what you come up with! :)

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Whitney Hoffman's picture
Whitney Hoffman
Producer LD Podcast, Digital Media Consultant, Author

Within 5 to ten years, I would love to see:

Kids facile in using e-books on tablets for their textbooks; able to access more in depth materials through hyperlinks. Materials might be commercially available, or even created as an interactive textbook by the teacher for the course or subject, and could be updated on the fly if necessary. Kids could make notes and comments with features similar to those in iBooks, to personalize the material as needed. Of course, a "read aloud" feature would also be available for beginner or struggling readers, to help them through more difficult texts while helping them expand their reading level. (It would be even better if the text could help provide a few automatic questions as a student progressed, to help access mastery and promote active reading.)

Teachers would be able to have students join a class remotely via skype on a routine basis, making sure kids that are at home sick can still accomplish work and not fall behind, or if they are not in school because their family is out of town, they still don;t have to lose class time, as long as a broadband internet connection is available.

I see communities with broadband quality wifi available ubiquitously, not only at the school but throughout the community, allowing everyone to have access to the internet wherever, whenever.

Parents will take a more active role when they have more access to the materials and projects kids are involved in, and will be able to learn themselves in the process.

More project based learning opportunities to brainstorm solutions for community problems will be available for kids; townships and local communities will consider letting the local students "hack" at a problem for a time period, setting up the problem with reasonable information and parameters, before considering outsourcing to professionals, as appropriate. (Ie. new designs for the local park; ways to encourage recycling, and more could easily be project based learning opportunities that could lead to real life success as well.)

Kids will have plenty of opportunities to produce and publish their work, and the teachers in their lives will be equally concerned with mechanics and with helping students find a voice and express it on a larger stage. Students will have opportunities to create and publish multimedia projects - the more authentic and meaningful, the better.

I am hoping education will be more student focused, and teachers will take a larger role in creating learning environments that are designed to promote creativity, and are comfortable, and less institutional. As a result, the interactions between teachers, administrators and students become a bit more collegial, with teachers acting as mentors more than taskmasters. Trust is inherent, and while some hierarchy, plenty of responsibility and benchmarking for progress will be in place, the work product and the artifacts of the learning will be something that students feel will endure, and not be thrown out at the end of the school year.

It's a lovely little utopia, but I have no idea how to get there. Small pockets of all of these ideas can and do exist, just often not in one place.

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program; Elementary Library Media Specialist

Kids will be solving real world problems that exist in their communities. There will be nearly no line between school and community- each will exist in service to the other. Tech tools will be readily accessible and teachers wil be proficient in their use and in trouble shooting whe things go awry. Most important, school will be a place of joy and inspiration with NO. MORE. TESTING. At least not the high stakes kind.

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Whitney,
Just wanted to say that that is one of the most inspiring and coherent visions for the future of education that I have ever heard. Thank you for sharing!

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

I couldn't agree more, Laura! I think there are already some small movements in this direction even now. Perhaps the not too distant future?

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Dan, we asked this question to our community on Twitter. Here are some of the responses:

Jonathan Rose @admiraljr
Got to embed #entrepreneurial and computational thinking skills in core curricula to prep kids for hollowing out of job market

Unless we embed these key new skills - the #YouthUnemployment problem is going to get a lot worse!

MountaineerMontessor @MontessoriCWV
#Montessori. Latest trend in education is 100 yrs old-flipped learning, project-based, student-centered, community impact

Robert Payne @bobpaynePH
I see it as a learning lab, not necessary to have a physical space, but containing competency based enriching content w/guidance

Lyn Lesch @LynLesch
More integration between schools & the world of professional expertise with classroom teachers serving as conduits between the two

Making Grateful Kids @Grateful_Kids
No matter what tech is involved, the schools of the future must help students to identify and value their strengths.

Gabrielle Marquette @Gabster4500
One of my Ss today suggested small teams of Ss have offices and Ts go to them.

piiyuuss @piyu009
Only focus on simulating problem solving skills, technology literacy and out of box thinking in children right from primary. 1/n

2/n, involving communities, parents and teachers together to work for the betterment of students at any grade, advert to ....

... advert to solving issues and problems that degrades students learning environemnt or de motivate them to pursue their studies.

All the above can be found at:

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