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What is the future of "western" education? How will knowledge be conveyed to the next generation of students?

Often times, I hear from teachers and educators about how technology has revolutionized the classroom. But what has this technology really done for us?

Yes, the classroom has gotten a little streamlined, with the capability to use computers to type up essays and etc. But as a student, I wouldn't say any of this is revolutionary. It only makes learning a little more convenient. The classroom model hasn't changed for decades, if not centuries. There's a teacher, or another knowledgeable individual, who instructs a group of students, who take notes and do activities/projects under the guidance of that individual. This classroom model has remained almost unaltered despite the development of radio, television, and other things that were to have expected to "revolutionize" and change the way how we educate students.

With this being said, what do you guys all think? Will the education system and classroom model change in the future? Or will it remain the same?

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  • Apr 29 2013: I think what you describe is common all over the world and not "Western" specific?

    I agree that our current teaching model is very old and we need a new way to teach everyone because our society is getting more complex. The ongoing automation will further decrease the number of jobs that require minimum education while jobs with high requirements in IT, sciences, bio technology and similar will continue to increase.

    I think we don't realize how much technology changed education (and this is just the beginning). Before the Internet era, students had to rely on their library to find answers and research material. With the Internet everyone has unprecedented access to knowledge on any topic. For example, Wikipedia is helping over a billion people around the world to understand any topic. Collaboration tools and sites allow students and teachers to collaborate. Free online courses and classes allow students with no income to learn material from top Universities like MIT etc.

    We are also seeing slow but positive change in how classrooms are organized. For example, some schools are experimenting with Khan Academy and similar systems where students are more active in the learning process and teachers can focus more on individual students.

    I think the future is very promising as students will have more access to wide range of online resources.

    cheers
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      Apr 29 2013: I agree what is stated above, that the current education system is very outdated. New developments on learning styles and the progress on how we retain information will be changing our education system. I believe as a part of this change, technology will naturally flow into the new systems of education. With that said technology will not be the single key that will change the current education system. Technology will be integrated into the new education systems that develop from our new understandings.
      • Apr 29 2013: Yes, society and esp. younger generation will also be part of pressure on the education system to change and adapt to new needs and views of its students.

        Hopefully public education will adapt fast enough to provide its students enough skills for 21st century jobs.

        Interesting times indeed. cheers

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