My friend Daniel S. Christian over at Learning Ecosystems had an interesting post yesterday that triggered a thought in my head. He was talking about an article in Time magazine where they were speculating what the college graduating class of 2025 would know. Daniel pointed out it will probably be more important to ask what they can do rather than what they know. I agree but there’s something huge missing from this discussion:
There might not be a Class of 2025.
If there is still such as thing as the Class of 2025, then college would not have changed much from today. Learning will need to be lifelong and ad-hoc. Already we can see evidence that learning is being split up and disaggregated into niche markets. Students are growing up with a set of more diverse experiences and becoming adults in a job market undergoing upheavals. One size doesn’t fit all. Whole job categories are being wiped out by automation and whole new categories are being created.
Todays college education is like a painting. You spend a lot of time on it and when you are done it doesn’t change. The education we get in 2025 will be more like juggling. You try to keep a lot of stuff in the air at once and keep going. Periodically you change out what you are juggling but it doesn’t stop. Similarly, you will attend college often for your whole life. Classes will be cheap, and offered from around the whole world taught by everyone, not just Ph.Ds.
In 2025, I predict the most well known online teachers won’t have any formal teaching training. Instead they will be talented people with a desire to share what they know.