In the networked age, we need schools, not structured like factories, but like clouds. We know the way we will work in the future will change. For example, general purpose doctors will no longer be needed, we will have no factory workers, no clerical jobs and no drivers and most tasks will be delegated to machines. It stands to reason therefore that the way we are educated and learn must change too. We need to teach children to make the machines of the future. We need a curriculum of big questions, examinations where children can talk, share and use the Internet. We need new, peer assessment systems. We need children from a range of economic and geographic backgrounds and an army of visionary educators. We need a pedagogy free from fear and focused on the magic of children’s innate quest for information and understanding.
The information revolution has enabled a style of learning that wasn’t possible before and education systems need to evolve accordingly. If this happens everything will be different. It is difficult to know where this will eventually lead, but if adopted widely enough and used for long enough, I believe self organised learning could eventually inspire a fundamental reassessment of our value system, decentralisation of business and the breakdown of monopolies. After all knowledge isn’t a commodity that’s delivered from teacher to student but something that emerges from the students’ own curiosity-fuelled exploration. In the future, teachers will provoke curiosity, suggest avenues of exploration, not answers, and then they will step aside so students can teach themselves and one another. They will create ways for children to discover their passion and in so doing will uncover the next generation of geniuses in the process.

  • Caroline Jones

    Interesting article in Wired about how technology is being used to create new educational models, somewhere between homeschooling and traditional school. It foresees a day when the same forces that have upended everything everything else (communication, transport, health etc) will transform our current model of education

    • Patrick Harris

      Here’s the ‘takeaway’ line from that WiRed article for me, Caroline – ‘It’s no longer about how to access information, it’s about how to use the information, how to sift through it to determine how to apply it to your life’

  • Patrick

    From the Hong Kong Future of Education workshop, it was seen that the recent introduction of liberal studies into the senior secondary curriculum is influencing the way that Hong Kong’s future leaders and teachers will think about education. What will be highlighted going forward, as these students become leaders and teacher are the areas of analytical skills and critical thinking.

    Is this view similar for your region, or are other skills and talents seen as key?