Thursday, February 12, 2015

What will Schools Look Like in the Future?

What are the trends, challenges and opportunities for schools in the next ten years?

There are solvable, difficult and then wicked challenges schools will face in the next ten years. Being ahead of the curve or aware of the curve will prepare schools to address the changes on the horizon. Educational trends and goals will influence the growth, sustainability and success of schools. It's important to note that there is a different between trends and "trendy." It takes research, collaboration and cultural mapping to determine which trends make the most sense for your school. Advancing a culture of change and innovation is an essential ingredient to developing new approaches and programs based on these trends. Sometimes that means being bold, taking a risk and piloting new ideas.

Some thoughts on where education is going:

  1. There will be an increase in teachers becoming high-level facilitators who foster creativity, original research and experimentation, rather than passively asking students to consume information. They will use learning analytics to personalize learning that looks like a learning playlist, individualized for each learner. More often, industry experts from across the globe will become guest faculty to support student learning. 
  2. Students will continue to take the lead in identifying problems, designing projects and creating prototypes to solve authentic community challenges.
  3. Where school takes place will continue to shift. More schools will embrace experiential learning "out in the community" and expand that community to the world. The flipped classroom approach and other technologies are core piece of supporting this pedagogical approach. 
  4. Human centered design, promoting trans-disciplinary learning, will increasingly become the framework for meaningful self-directed learning where students will become agents of their own learning. Students will be increasingly curious and engaged in making a real impact on the world. A bias toward action will become the norm, meaning that students will increasingly be asked not just to think about solutions to be take action and try solutions. 
  5. Partnership and collaboration will lead to mutual benefit for students and organizations. Schools will increasingly look beyond the campus to nonprofits, businesses, and universities to develop collaborations and projects that connect students with real-world contemporary issues and experts. Externships (where students seek placements at organizations with expertise in the student’s area of interest) will become the norm for younger and younger students. The most successful partnerships will be those that mutually benefit organizations and the students working there, and those that have an entrepreneurial focus.
What do these ideas spark for you? What other thoughts would you add? Please let me know in the comments! 

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