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Entrepreneurs Predict 5 Ways Education May Change by 2020

Fast Company—the self-proclaimed world's leading progressive business media brand—spoke with leaders of some of the most influential education companies about the future of the classroom and learned their predictions for the next five years in education.

They said:


1. Students will interact with others remotely.

This means education technology will continue to advance individualized instruction for students. "With some exciting exceptions, public schools are one of the few institutions in modern life that have not seen radical changes spurred by technology," said Joe Williams, the executive director of Democrats for Education Reform. "I'm not talking about having computers in classrooms, but rather a lack of any seismic shift in the way things are done because technology is making the work easier or more efficient." Hadley Ferguson, the executive director of the Edcamp Foundation, told Fast Company that kids will "reach out beyond the walls of their classrooms to interact with other students, other teachers, and renowned authors, scientists, and experts to enhance their learning."


2. The success of tech will still rely on skilled teachers.

"Jake Schwartz, CEO and cofounder of General Assembly, predicts that as technology advances, its limits will become clear," reports Fast Company. He says: " 'Online' is not a cure-all for education issues in this country, but it can help provide greater access to new skills training," he says. 


3. We'll think differently about the diploma.

"The growing amount of the population living with crippling student debt combined with the pressure to keep tuition costs down threaten the sustainability of tuition-dependent institutions," Schwartz said in the article. "This will help to force an innovation drive with an unbundling of degree offerings." Training for the workforce will become more competency-based and encourage aggressive competition, and experts predict a new curriculum that builds on the possibilities of allowing students to "move away rote learning and tackle real-world challenges and develop solutions for them."


4. Students will have a voice.

"Students are ultimately their customers," says Kristen Saenz Tobey, cofounder of Revolution Foods, about young people in the school system. "Engaging and respecting students and families as wellness partners will become a new focus in ways we haven't seen before," Saenz Tobey said in the article. 


5. Educators and institutions will be forced to adapt.

"As the above four factors change—a wider global reach, students who need to feel respected, and a workforce demanding skilled scholars—the roots of education will need to find ways to adapt," Fast Company reports. According to cited statistics, more than half the world's population will live in India, China or Africa by 2100, and educational goods and services will be shaped less by the issues in the U.S. and more by those in Africa, South Asia and China. "We're not quite stacking up to where the rest of the world is." says Saenz Tobey. "[The U.S.] is feeling the pressure to be the world leader we think we are... particularly in math and science."


Read the full story.

By Samantha DiMauro, Education World Contributor

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