Education is a field in dire need for change, and technology and institutions are already in place to bring about rapid and massive change in education. What will education look like in 2075? Let’s look at the trends taking place today that will reshape education in the future.
The Decline of Brick and Mortar Institutions
Online classes (mostly without credit) at other major colleges followed open courses by MIT. MOOC (massive open online courses) offer people a chance to sample subjects before signing up for paid college credit, gain a refresher in a subject for free, or learn about a subject on their own without paying for college credit.
The massive online classes for bachelor and master’s level subjects are a drop in the bucket, though, compared to online K-12 programs. Whether it is K12.com’s online home-schooling program, Khan Academy’s growing lexicon of lessons to aid parents and students alike, or the expanding set of online courses for religious home-schoolers, all of these sites have one thing in common. They are all acclimating students and families alike to using the computer at home in place of sending their child into the classroom.
By 2030, a large subset of the adult population will be educated in part or entirely through the computer at some point in their academic lives. In addition, being told they have to pay money to travel to a brick and mortar classroom to be lectured will seem like a waste of time and money. They will increasingly prefer online MBA programs to the limited schedules and course selection of the nearby colleges. By 2075, it will seem elitist if not retro to go to physical building all day to learn what you could learn online on your own schedule, at your own pace.
The Advantages of Online Education
One advantage of the decline of relying on specific buildings for your education will be a lower cost per class. Professors today already frequently work out of a home office. If everyone teaching classes for Masters in Business Administration online worked from home or rotated through a small set of classrooms, the overhead for the “school” will be much lower than it is today. This will make college courses much more affordable, though online MBA programs today are often as expensive as their on-campus courses.
Acceptance of Online Credentials
The online education field has been used for supplementation and tutoring for several years, but what has not yet become widespread is the awarding of degrees recognized by employers. Employers are starting to realize that employees especially need to earn a Masters in Business Administration online because it is the only way to fit higher education into their work and personal schedules. This is leading employers to accept online MBA programs as equally valid as the brick and mortar school.
The few exceptions to this are where hands-on learning is essential, such as the skilled trades. Even here, augmented reality and virtual reality will allow even small campuses and classrooms in public buildings to bring excellent education to everyone who wants it.
In 2075, online education for all levels of education, kindergarten through post-secondary education will be the norm for almost all areas.