If you think about the future of education, you quickly realize that many of the students who are impacted by technology trends will be left behind. When it comes to innovation and progress, the world is no longer in an age of visible change. Today we live in an age of rapid technological change. Every day, new technologies emerge that are ever improving and can be found in every corner.
To educate the best and brightest in this brave, new world, we need a new and better educational paradigm. We can’t allow our education tools to age in our classrooms. This could be a mistake that will endanger our future. Tossing out large numbers of children in need of equitable access will result in us languishing at the bottom end of the global pool for employable workers for many decades.
The New Toolbox
A few years ago I went to an estate sale and saw a few woodworking tools that I thought could be useful. I was able grab a selection of tools that were likely to have been kept in someone’s toolbox over the years for a few dollars. These tools served me well over the next ten decades. I used them in my shop on a wide range of projects, until they outgrew my dull, old tools. My woodworking skills and artistry improved. I soon realized that the best tools translate into better craftsmanship. Every woodworker knows that new tools require new skills.
Students can shape and mold themselves by using woodworking. A sharp tool is unbeatable. To build the best projects, you must use the best tools. If our tools don’t get improved, it will result in a huge disappointment in our projects for the next ten years.
I will be trying to present a picture of the future technology that will affect the education of students. I will show you the incredible opportunities that await us if only we open ourselves to the endless possibilities. My idea is this: Transforming the student into an “user” instead of a “passenger”. You may be asking yourself what I mean. Let me explain.
Ask yourself what it is to be a “user.” An user is not just someone who uses. Student users should use technology in a free and independent manner. This new freedom will enable students to participate in their education rather than being passive spectators. This is a first in human history.
In the modern technological world, being a consumer means being tracked. We live in a world where tracking is an integral part. This should make it easier to manage our educational process in the long-term. Tracking a student gives you the ability to focus education on strengths and weaknesses. This ability to customize education to students has been the hallmark of educational philosophy for many decades. This dream could become a reality with the technological revolution.
Current education curriculum and individual assessments are not well-designed. Modern tracking and database technologies can be used to accurately assess students. We have the means to make it a reality. All that is required is to pull out the old books and start using them. This project may be the shovel-ready solution Congress is seeking.
Imagine a world with every child having a tablet computer and ready access to the App virtual photographic memory (internet). Imagine that every student has access to all of the knowledge in the world at any given time. Imagine a world that a misspelled term brings up a spelling test application rather than an auto correction. Consider what it would be like for teachers to keep a list of every misspelled word and misunderstood idea, as well as every missing equation, for each of their students. Think of a teacher that can customize the experience for each user. Imagine the curriculum being customized to the individual user via an intuitive educational platform. It will know every strength and weakness. I could go on and on, but I believe you get my point.