In this insightful blog, education technology (edtech) expert Roger James Hamilton shares his thoughts on what the impact of the pandemic will mean for the future of the education system.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented disruption in education. All types of learning institutions have had to embrace technology to continue teaching.
The generation currently in the education system will be fundamentally tied to technology. The pandemic brought this into high definition, making everyone think more about how they use and rely on tech in the real world and the opportunities it offers. All stakeholders, from teachers and leaders to students and parents are rethinking education methods and procedures. At the same time, record growth in the edtech industry is leading to entirely new models of learning.
The traditional curriculum that our education system follows centres around subject study, gradually honing down interests and passions to eventually follow a direct career path. In light of the huge advancements in technology in the past decade alone, we must question if this system is still fit for purpose?
Many aspects of our traditional education system are still rooted within the principles of the industrial era, which prized conformity, repetition and rigidity. Yet we are now moving even beyond the information society age into the impact or imagination society where there is a digital layer across almost every aspect of our lives.
In today’s world, where AI offers personalisation for everything from the films we watch and the music we listen to, to the food we eat and how we spend, save, travel and work, why are we still educating our young people based on a one size fits all model?
Every hundred years or so there is a pandemic that has changed the order of what was. After the Spanish flu of 1920 we saw huge advancements in technology in terms of radio, TV, film, air travel and more. Today, we are seeing a massive acceleration in technology - everything is becoming digitized, from fintech and medtech, to spacetech and edtech.
In the next 10 years we’ll see a huge change from the old school model of standardisation to a new paradigm of personalisation in education. The biggest growth areas in education will be artificial intelligence, used for personalisation; augmented reality, virtual reality and the metaverse to create more immersive and integrated learning.
This will have a huge impact on what we see the classroom of the future looking like. The traditional physical classroom may not even exist 10 years from now.
From a cloud-based application schools can begin to build virtual campuses to engage students and create a community feel online, where tasks, progress, coursework and achievements can be tracked. And from this virtual campus learning can be made more enjoyable by gamification and personalisation.
A more personalised approach to learning and varied curriculum will enable more students to hone their unique aptitudes, work at their own pace, build confidence, boost motivation and find their purpose. In this scenario, fewer children will have gaps in their learning, be disruptive and disengaged, and leave school with no clear idea of their career path – all problems that the traditional education system faces time and time again.
To consider the progression of the education system we must first contemplate the evolution of work. What if the current system isn’t equipping our future generations with the skills they need and ultimately, students are under-prepared to offer meaningful value to the working world?
The truth is that some of the jobs we are preparing students for today could be non-existent by the time some of them graduate, which is why we need to challenge outdated views on the curriculum.
During the course of the next decade, with the rise of AI and automated technology, traditional, manual and customer service-based roles will reduce and likely be replaced by technology. While at the same time there is a skills shortage in programming, software development and engineering. These gaps in the job market will only add to the effects of Brexit and COVID-related disruption.
Couple this with the widespread use of edtech on a worldwide scale because of school closures and social distancing measures, and we have a scenario ripe for a revolution in education. Where so much progress has been made in education and the use of technology, it is unthinkable for schools to completely return to pre-COVID teaching methods. We need to prepare students for a digital, global future, becoming familiar with the learning and communication tools used in the business world. The future of learning must have a strong digital focus.
Roger James Hamilton is a New York Times bestselling author and Founder and CEO of Genius Group, a multi-million-dollar group of companies including GeniusU, Entrepreneurs Institute, Entrepreneur Resorts and Genius School. GeniusU is an edtech company and platform providing over 1.8 million students with personalised learning paths and is currently seeing over 1300 new students join each day to take the entrepreneur quiz and identify their path to wealth. Genius School provides education courses for young people from 0 to 25 years old.
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