They’re all crazy enough to try to fix the broken education system.
When a degree no longer guarantees a job and curriculums effectively get outdated within a few years, schools and universities face an incredible challenge ahead: how can they provide personalized education at scale, that adapts to the fast-changing state of the world, and still entertains up-to-date, engaging insights to their students?
Skills > subjects
In the education of the future, students won't learn subjects, they'll learn skills. It is not about humans memorizing a bundle of information that's all online anyway.
Instead, students will learn to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Learning is about them knowing how to collect and connect the dots. Unlearning is about differentiating between what’s fake and what’s real. Relearning is about dissecting what’s valuable and what’s irrelevant.
Learning how to find yourself, to adapt, to make better decisions, and to sustain relationships are much more future-proof skills than knowing about history, chemistry, or biology by heart.
Tailored learning experiences
Tailored learning experiences for each student have historically been impossible. There’s too many kids and too few teachers.
But if we focus on teaching our students to know themselves, they will autonomously dive deeper into the topics they find interesting and use that innate curiosity as the driver to learn new skills. AI algorithms and software will play a key role in helping teachers build personalized education at scale.
With online education rising, students are now able to learn from the best teachers around the world from the comfort of their home. They’re able to design their learning journey specific to their interests, talents, and intentions. Learning pods and micro-schools are running at the forefront of this, as is Schoolhouse edtech startup.
That’s why classrooms as we know them are dead. It no longer makes sense to bundle people in a room so they can passively listen for x amount of hours. The best way to learn is to produce and do.
The future of education includes hands-on projects where students learn from each other; where their work is not only revised by one instructor but rather by their peers, experts, and even strangers.
The more people see your work, the more feedback you receive, the more you learn. No one wants to spend an entire week working on an essay only one person will read and judge.
Learning with context
The courses students choose then becomes their knowledge packet. As adults, we know that no topic truly stands alone. Everything is interrelated.
But traditional education gives us information out of context. It teaches us math for math's sake, making us memorize formulas and patterns, rather than teaching us why these formulas matter and where they’re best implemented.
You like sports?
- You can learn math by predicting future scores.
- You can learn biology by studying which qualities make an athlete's body great.
- You can learn history by going through the origins of the sport and how it gained relevance over time.
- You can learn sociology by understanding how teams work and collaborate among each other.
Education needs to be contextualized so its relevance makes sense, otherwise students will not care. And when they don't care, learning can't happen.
No set times
And precisely because education is all around us, we need to stop thinking of it occurring in x amount of time, when it's actually a life-long process.
High-schools and universities will intertwine and turn into modular, life-long experiences that continuously build your education portfolio as you take immersive courses, practice, build projects, work with peers, and learn again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
The end result
The future of education is nearer than we think because the market is demanding it. Companies are hiring for it, organizations are needing it, and the supply is being crafted by the early adopters and outcasts.
These are the people crazy enough to enroll in an intensive coding bootcamp or the people extroverted enough to take an online cohort-based course. Investors are rushing to these edtech startups because the education model is up for grabs and investors smell opportunity.
The end result of outdated education is a society with outdated skills - unable to compete in the global age. And if machines are replacing humans and algorithms are replacing jobs, then we better have a plan to beat the challenge, before the challenge beats us.