An insight into the future of education

Back-to-school in 2030: what could it look like ?

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On that morning of the new school year 2030, Juliette is smiling. She is starting a new year and she is looking forward to meeting up with her friends. This will be different from these endless summer discussions on Virtuchat.

This article was translated from a blog post for the Huffington Post in France and Canada on September 3, 2013. Click here for the original version in French.

She’s checking the schedule of her first day of school. The frontal lobe sensor that directly updates her schedule does not seem to give her all the information she needs; she will print a new one later on her 3D printer. A friend showed her yesterday a new application to download the latest products.

As soon as the sensor has synchronized with her contact lenses, the latest version of the documents and books needed will be visible to her directly through the lenses. Pfft, it’s so much more practical than those glasses that Google launched at the beginning of the century... She does not need to review the provided documents as the vocal version was directly downloaded on Amazon last night by the sensor and reviewed during her sleep. Besides, the table of contents is already available on UniWiki, the student network in which everyone shares the summary of the sessions.

She likes her morning teacher: Dr Martha Smother is the highest ranked math teacher globally. Today, she will go and listen to her with 450 other students in the university lecture hall. In the past, she used to attend her courses from home, but she now prefers the interaction with students after the class. Besides, at home, she still does not have the holographic tool required to see her teacher in 3D. She also has an English teacher in Australia, her history teacher is located at la Sorbonne, and her biology teacher in Russia. At the end of the year, she will have all of her credits necessary for graduation.

Since she comes from a wealthy family, her parents were able to modify the part of her brain that is used to learn languages and have improved it. When she was 7 years old, she already spoke more than six languages. Even if she receives a simultaneous translation in more than 280 languages thanks to new android implants, it's still better to hear the intonations in a voice.

Juliette is dreamingly petting her kitten Analog. At least, this one was not genetically modified. She brought him back secretly after finding him on a street corner –and said a friend had given it to her. If only her parents knew… They fear the sicknesses that could be transmitted by the animal and for which drugs no longer exist.

Universities offered her last year a wide range of classes based on her orientation choices, allowing her to choose from a global database of 128 000 teachers offering their services, a kind of educational curation. Her choice was guided by la Sorbonne’s “playlist”. Juliette chose la Sorbonne because it has exclusivity agreements with some teachers –which not all universities provide. Furthermore, their avatar base is interesting –in particular, she follows a literature class with the Albert Camus ava-prof.

With a global teaching market, teachers are no longer linked to a specific school, but they market their expertise globally. Their ratings are displayed and shared, and they are also ranked on the fourteenth market, the expertise market. Juliette owns stocks in her main teachers. The more the fees they charge rise, the more she will receive dividends on their income. Therefore, she is dedicated to communicating what she thinks about their classes and contributes to building their reputation. The professors market quote is also automatically updated as their students’ exam results and average grades vary.

She’s smiling, while thinking about the predecessor of this site, the English web site that was created in 2013 and offered for the first time the possibility to grade a teacher. At the beginning of the year, she had chosen her teachers based on the students’ scores, but also based on the personal and psychological analysis provided in her personal roadmap. It is an important choice, because with all the new guidelines regarding life-time learning, these teachers will coach her for the next 20 years. It will help her in particular to step in if new learning needs arise in the future, and thus keep all of her student’s skill profile in her personal digital safe.

Her customized learning plan was created when she reached her third birthday, based on her mental skills, and also on her parents’ choices. Her parents can now access the latest reports combining the economical and demographical outlooks and they are able to analyze which jobs will be popular in ten years. The plan will of course automatically be revised should these projections be modified.

She will also need to quickly prepare for year-end exams revision. The global system paired her with students from all over the world who have the same profile and skill level –their exam preparations will be done jointly. She likes to prepare for exams. This year in history, the last version of the revi-game “Civilizations” has just come on the market. In a multi-player mode, she will compete with the best on the planet to win the Second World War. Based on the level of the game reached, an exam preparation program covering her weakest points will automatically be generated. The game will also ensure she will meet competitors with a level slightly higher than hers –a good way to learn. Juliette is taking note to check that her equipment is in good working order: a sensory suit –to feel coldness and tiredness –a 4D headset to visualize other participants and the environment. There will also be sensors to analyze her cardiac pulses and visualize which parts of the brain were tested to see if her learning process is intuitive and short-term, or if it indeed went to her long-term memory.

Her studies are sponsored by Novartis. The datapharma giant has analyzed that patients who studied are less costly and in better health, and their health diginote is much higher. So they finance a part of her studies. The sensors she wears send her personal information directly to the company. As soon as they detect a decrease in blood pressure or an excessive tiredness, doses of personal medication are sent right away into her blood from the micro-doses implanted in her arm. This also warns her parents and localizes her if her blood alcohol levels are too high.

Well, time to go...

 

I would like to thank Sylvie Reinhard at LIFT ( @sylviereinhard )for her advice on making the future more realistic and introducing Analog to the story, and Caroline Scott ( @scotttraduction ) for her translation.

How do you view school in 2030 ? Use the comments to add to the story...

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