To understand how education will change by the year 2020 we should first discuss how technology will change dramatically by the year 2020. Moore’s Law basically says that technology gets increases in capability but decreases in price over time. When I say technology increases in capability, I mean that computers keep getting smaller and smaller, but the amount of memory they can store keeps increasing. The processing speed of these sleeker smarter computers will continue to get faster. Check out this video. Computers in the future may be no bigger than a pen, but more capable than our computers today in every way imaginable. Future Computer Of 2020.flv When you can put a computer that is better than the one you’re working on now into a pen, what else will technology be in? The possibilities are truly limitless.
This pattern in technology will change how prevalent technology will become. Students will have to be technologically savvy. As technology becomes better and more affordable it will reach more and more people in many different ways. Technology will show up in devices like watches, pens, sun glasses, and I have even seen proposals for a cell phone that could fit in your tooth. Think about how technology is applied and will be applied to items like household appliances, vehicles, tools, weapons, clothing, shoes, the list could really go on for quite some time. Technology will be everywhere! Not that you would want to, but it will be hard to ban access to the internet in many places. As more people have better technology, we will depend more on it at school, work, home, and when we travel. The web will become the source for entertainment, education, social networking, shopping, and more. We will need to know what the web has to say on any issue we encounter. Newspapers, magazines, radio programs and television are all going to take a back seat to the internet.
This shift toward dependency on the internet has already begun. Why do we wait around to see things that entertain us? We should go out and find our entertainment when it fits into our schedule. Youtube is just the beginning. There will be many similar ideas that follow. Many TV shows already offer webisodes with fewer commercial interruptions than the broadcast version. There are also deleted scenes and blooper reels on the online version of the TV show. You could argue that it is already better to use the internet to watch some sitcoms in 2008. The same thing goes for radio programs. If it is talk radio that you like, then there are more podcasts out there than you could ever listen to right now. You can seek them out and listen to them on your schedule instead of waiting for the broadcast. Music and music videos will be available at your convenience too, like they already are. Instead of having a daily, weekly, or monthly subscription updates, we will get up to the minute updates via RSS feeds. These trends will exacerbate with time. Education needs to be keeping pace with these changes. Teachers will need to be literate in these areas to effectively communicate with their audience. Students are already making these shifts toward web for so many different things.
So far I have predicted that technology will be better, cheaper, more prevalent, and a source of entertainment, news, and learning. By 2020 we won’t be able to separate our students from the web. Our big issue will be showing kids how to use the web. There will be so much information that we will have to rely on our professional training to show students what is reliable information and what is outdated, propaganda, incorrect, or just a hoax. As teachers we will have to contribute quite a bit to the web to gain credibility with our students, or to keep our jobs. Many students may not even come to school in person. Just as working from home has certainly caught on, students may stay home with their parents to virtually attend school. We will use the web to learn and to educate others. Evidence of growth will be posted to the web to track our learning and to aid in educating others. Projects, presentations, and assessments will also depend on technology. The benefits of computer generated tests are already evident. Students benefit because computer generated tests can be corrected immediately and sent back to students to help them correct or confirm their learning. A comprehensive report about the outcome of the test can help teacher by showing them where they did a good job teaching and where they need to spend some more time teaching. By publishing our progress to the web students will create meaningful learning that can be accessed and evaluated from many different places. We can collaborate with almost anyone in the world on any project. The benefits to a connected classroom will benefit not only the students in our classes, but world’s knowledge base will benefit as well.
This collaboration of ideas across the world will create a global community. Students will be more aware of our world and its needs. Hopefully the world will have fewer secrets with all of this connectivity. How people are compensated, governed, medicated, and spend their free time or money may reach a middle ground as we create global benchmarks for these things. With access to the internet, we can read about and let people know about great ideas and injustices in the world. This will be a dangerous idea. As we will have to decide what is real information and what is propaganda. As we become more connected, we will seek out and help people who are facing hardships. Hopefully when the entire world in networked, this will benefit all of humanity.
Undoubtedly as we research, collaborate, share and create better technology we will extend the life span of our average person. With medical technology we will avoid illnesses, create better prosthetics, artificial organs, and just plain live longer. Increased processor skills will aid in the diagnosis of ailments. Technology will also increase the speed at which we create medicine. All of this too will affect the graduates of 2020. They will need to be productive citizens as our population ages. All of the graduates of 2020 will need to generate a taxable income to meet the basic needs of these people of our retired citizens. There will be so many people who will be retired that it will be extremely difficult for our future graduates to collect disability or welfare. The jobs that require a low skill level will be gone too. These jobs will be filled by machines. Machines are more dependable, don’t ask for health insurance, vacation time, and they are easier to replace and retrain than human employees. These technological advances will require our students to be productive at jobs that will require a high level of skill.
Our graduates of 2020 will live a life that will be touched by technology on a daily basis. The technology they deal with will be more capable and less expensive. The products that they have technology in and areas that they will have access to the web, we can only be dream about at this time. Their learning and proof of learning will be web based. This will shift toward technology will be felt worldwide. The benefits of this shift will benefit the world in unimaginable ways. Our graduates of 2020 will feel quite a burden. The low level skill jobs will be gone, but yet we will demand that our students be employed. To say that technology will change how we teach and learn in 2020 is quite an understatement.