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FUTURE PERSPECTIVE - A Vision of Education for the 21st Century 
ByEdMo   posted on01 Mar, 12 5133 Views 0 Comments Special Feature Add to favorite

Technology is on the verge of fundamentally reshaping the education system. In particular, the technology to deliver full-length courses online is rapidly becoming a reality. The creation and delivery of courses over the Web will be the driving force for educational change in the 21st century.

The computer will allow the creation of “learn by doing” courses designed by the best and the brightest experts in any given field. Quality universities will put their names on these courses, and companies will create them, guaranteeing employment to those who pass them. This will create tremendous change for everyone involved in the education system.

New role for teachers

The teaching of traditional academic subjects, first in high school and later in elementary school, will be increasingly done via online courses. Eventually school libraries will contain hundreds of these courses. Teachers will be left to provide things that technology cannot: personal one-on-one tutoring; teaching kids how to work in a group to accomplish something; and teaching crucial interpersonal relationship skills.

Initially teachers may feel disenfranchised by this. But an important opportunity will emerge for teaching social skills that students desperately need, and teachers will understand they need to be the ones to fill this role. Today there is a push to measure teachers by their students’ test scores. Tomorrow, teachers will be judged by more meaningful measures as we begin to value them for their human qualities.

Not only will teachers act much more as social workers or guidance counsellors in the future, they will also lead courses that explicitly focus on developing social and interpersonal skills. In many ways these courses will resemble the kinds of programmes provided by Outward Bound. The teacher will be an advisor to the team, or a guide on an expedition. Right now teachers are authority figures. Once teachers move out of that role, they will eliminate a roadblock that prevents them from connecting with the students who need the most guidance.

Changes in primary education

One of the biggest problems we have in elementary school is the amount of time kids are forced to sit still. Sitting still is so hard, and it’s the last thing young children want to do. I’d rather see kids spending more time playing than doing academics. While I think there is a valuable lesson in teaching a seven-year-old to sit down and focus on a task, that task shouldn’t be doing 1,400 multiplication tables.

Elementary school should be simply about reading, writing and arithmetic, about acquiring good work habits, and perhaps most importantly, about instilling a love of learning in each child. A lot of

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