Year 2060: Education Predictions

Year 2060: Education Predictions

September 9, 2019 100 By Ronny Jaskolski


I’ve been asked to make
predictions for the year 2060, or 50 years in the future. And I thought I would
focus this video on things that I feel
pretty good about or things that I feel are
close to my heart and hopefully things that things
like the Khan Academy might be able to bring about. So the first big change I
expect in the next 50 years– and I actually don’t think it’ll
take 50 years for it to happen. It’ll probably
happen fairly quickly over the next 10 years–
is that the classroom model fundamentally changes. So classroom different. And it’s going to change
from a model like this, and not all classrooms
look like this. There are already
classrooms that are exploring
different types of ways for students to
interact with each other and with the professor. But still, in most
classrooms of the world, especially if you take
the introductory courses at most universities, you’ll
see something like this. You’ll see a professor lecturing
in some way and a bunch of students sitting
in rows taking notes, and then they’ll take an
exam at the end of the term. In probably, frankly, 10 years,
this is going to go away, completely go away. You won’t have people
passively sitting in lecture halls taking notes. So we’re going to move
from a passive model, taking lectures completely–
and this is already happening to a certain
degree– completely to an active, I would call it,
discovery and creative model. So the classroom of the future
will look something much more like this. In fact, you might not
even call it a classroom. You would call it a room or
some type of project room or something like that. And the general
idea is right now all of these resources are spent
for people to passively get information from a professor. When that is
necessary– and there will be times where you want
to learn a little bit of what someone else discovered about
calculus or quantum physics or anything like that–
that’ll be at your own time, at your own pace. And we can pretend like that’s
happening to this gentleman right over there, and
maybe he’s even able to practice some of
those core skills. But a bulk of the time
will be spent doing this, will be doing– building
things, creating things, exploring things. And it doesn’t just have to
be science and technology. These people look like they’re
building some type of a robot. It could be painting a
picture or composing a sonata or choreographing a dance. Whatever it might be,
it’s going to be much more active, discovery-based,
and creative. And actually, one,
I think this is going to happen
technologically, because a lot of the stuff that’s happening
in this model right over here can start to happen
a little bit more efficiently through this model. So it frees up time for this. But it’s also going to
be a social imperative that it happens. If you rewind a
few hundred years– and actually, you
don’t even have to rewind that far–
the bulk of society was kind of involved in,
I’ll call it physical labor. You had a smaller fraction that
was involved in mental labor. So I’ll call this mental labor,
sometimes white collar jobs. Something like filling out your
taxes, that is mental labor. And you had a very small
percentage of society– so this is kind of
historically, and I’m even overstating what it is– a very
small percentage of society spent in kind of
innovation, creativity, art, things like that. So art, innovation,
true science, true pushing the frontiers
of the human experience and human understanding forward. Now, as you get more
and more technology, technology, especially with
the Industrial Revolution, started to automate
a lot of this. And it also made the pie bigger. And so when you have kind of
an industrial society, what happened is the necessity
for physical labor went down. So you had a smaller
percentage of the population that needed to do
physical labor. The mental labor actually
grew, so more people can now be involved in
things like mental labor. And obviously, even automation
is handling some of that as well, but you’ve freed up
more people to do mental labor. And you’ve definitely
freed up a good bit more of resources and people that
can now do the frontier, pushing the envelope, the art,
the innovation, the creativity. Now, if we fast-forward
to the year 2060, I think this is going to
become an extreme form, where almost no physical labor
is necessarily required. People might like to
do it for exercise. So this part right over here
is going to be very, very, very small, especially in
developed countries. And hopefully by 2060, most
countries will be developed. Even the mental labor is going
to be taken over more and more by automation. So a lot of this is
going to be automated. So you’re going to
need less people doing traditional mental labor
tasks– filling out paperwork, filling out your taxes,
things like that. And it’s going to free
up a lot of wealth and a lot of resources and
a lot of people’s hours to do truly artful,
creative, innovative things. And so the bulk of society,
I think, by 2060, if things go well, will be
over here, will be in this kind of creative class. This is where most
people will sit. So it’s actually an imperative
that our classrooms– one, the tools are happening
to make it possible, to make it feasible. But not only that, but it’s an
imperative if society really is moving in this
direction– and I think it is– so that we have
as many people as possible that can do this research
and development, that can do truly
creative activity. Now, a corollary to this
idea that the classroom will be different, that people will
be working self-paced– they’ll be spending a lot more
time working on projects– is that instead of
our credentials being, for the most part, seat-time
based– so right now, our credentials– and
it’s not 100% seat-time. But to a large
degree, most people spend 12– actually, 13
years in K through 12. So that’s 13 years. And then if you get
a college degree, it’s expected it’s going
to be another four years. And there are some
people who are able to tweak this, skip
a grade here or there. But for the most part,
the bulk of people do 13 years and then four years. And then what the variable
is is how well you actually achieved– how well you actually
understood the material. So the variable– so this
thing is relatively fixed, and then the variable is
your level of achievement. Forgot an E, achievement. And this right over
here is variable. So some people go through
the system with straight A’s. They’ve really
understood everything, or hopefully they’ve understood
everything if they got straight A’s. Some people have B’s. Some people get C’s. And that’s why we have something
called a grade point average. It shows that variation
in achievement, even though everyone is kind
of in this fixed seat-time. What we’re going
to transition to, especially once everyone is
learning at their own pace– they don’t have to kind
of move together lockstep in these classrooms–
is you’re going to go to an
achievement-based model where there are achievements
that you are trying to get to, and they can be multiple things. Part of the
achievements could be skills like maybe calculus
or being able to read music or being able to, I don’t know,
understand quantum physics. These would all be
achievements, but you decide how you will learn to
master these core concepts. So it won’t be based on you
have to spend 13 years and then four years going
into debt to do it. You could go to a
formal institution to learn some of
this stuff, or you could learn it
however you see fit. You might be able to be
an apprentice with someone and then eventually
show that you know quantum physics very well. And I can imagine these
achievements would be far more rigorous
than the assessments that are being given right now. They could be oral examinations. They could be
practical examinations. They could be contingent
upon you building or applying some of this information. But what’s interesting about
this is now the seat-time, the time is variable. Let me write this. The time is now the variable. You can do this whenever,
wherever, however long it takes. You could even revisit
things when you’re 40 or 50. There won’t be any
artificial stopping point, that you are 22. You’re a college grad. Now you will not learn
new things anymore. And what’s fixed– and
I won’t call it fixed, because you can always get
more and more achievements. But the achievements will
be at a high standard. It’s a fixed high standard. So that if you get this
reading music achievement, you really do know
how to read music, which is different than
some other achievements. If I get a C in
a calculus class, it’s not clear that I actually
do understand calculus. In fact, it’s not
even necessarily true if I got an A in
a calculus class whether I definitely
understand calculus. So fixed high standards. And I imagine that the
only credentials won’t just be these kind of
subject-based credentials. The most important
part– because remember, the emphasis here is on the
creative, on the projects. And in creative fields,
your real transcript is not your GPA. Your real transcript
is your portfolio of projects, portfolio
of work that you’ve done. So people will get
things like this to show that they
understand specific domains, but the most important part of
the transcript of the future will be people’s
achievements– or I should say, their projects. So maybe I made a robot that can
maybe make toast of some kind. Maybe I’ve painted a
picture, so here’s a picture. Maybe I’ve written
a piece of software that does something
interesting, so some software. So what employers and other
people will really care about isn’t just your GPA
or how much time you spent in a lecture hall. They’ll say, show me the
stuff that you have actually built, that shows that you are
really in this creative class, that you can start
from scratch and create something new and novel. And I also imagine,
because we’ll be getting so much data
while people are actually working on getting some
of their core skills, that you won’t just even have
these, do you know calculus? Do you know quantum physics? You’ll also have metrics,
how hard working were you? How well did you
persevere, especially maybe when you failed first? These would be, I think,
considered to be good things. And on top of that,
you could start to measure, how well
did you help others? So that could be another
achievement, helping others. When you virtually tutor people
or physically tutor people, they rate you. And they say, wow, that
person really did help me. And we can even look
at the data to see whether you had a statistically
significant impact on their results. Now, the next corollary with
this different classroom and this
achievement-based learning is I think the
role of the teacher will change dramatically. And I think it’ll be
in a very powerful way. So the role of the teacher,
rather than being a lecturer and often giving similar
lectures from year to year and always going
at the same pace, the teacher will now
be a coach or a mentor. And anyone who’s ever seen a
great football or basketball coach will tell you that
a great coach or a mentor is a very rich and
important role, and so I think that
the role of the teacher will go up dramatically. And it actually won’t even be
an isolated profession anymore. Right now, in a
traditional classroom, because it’s lecture-based,
you have a classroom of 20, 25, 30 students,
another classroom of 20, 25, 30 students,
another classroom of 20, 25, 30 students. And in each of them,
you’ll have a teacher, often at the front
of the classroom, running class,
lecturing in some way. Because every student is now
working at their own pace at their own time and
the teachers are now spending most of their time
interacting with students, I could imagine a
world where, why have these walls
between classrooms? Why not just have
one larger classroom? Now it’s 70, 75, 90 students. And all three teachers
work together. And so the teachers aren’t
isolated in their rooms. They’re all able to tag team and
play to each other’s strengths. And the students will
have the benefit– instead of having the benefit of
one, I guess, experience base and knowledge
set, the students have the experience base
of all of these teachers. And not only that, they’ll
also be tutoring each other. So in this model, it’s
all going from the teacher to the student. Here, it’s going from
teachers to multiple students and from students to students
and maybe even students to teachers. So it’s going from peer to
peer and multiple teachers to multiple peers. And I think in this
type of a model– because the teacher’s going to
become that much more valuable, because now it is
all interactive. There is no more
passive lecture. There is no giving the
same lecture every year. I think that the
profession of teaching will become even
more prestigious. So my big– and I’m
saying 2060, but I think this is going to happen
over the next 10 to 15 years. So I think by 2020
or 2025 you’re going to have– the
teaching profession is going to become at parity
with professions like medicine or law or engineering in
terms of how much of a teacher can make and how they
are valued by society. So I predict in this
reality teachers, based on today’s money if you
inflation-adjust it, are going to make $150,000
to $200,000 per year. And for any of
those who say, wait, where’s the money for
$150,000 to $200,000 per year, you just should realize
that right now most states– even if you just focus
on public schools– are spending on the order
of $10,000 a student. And even if you had a 25 to
one student to teacher ratio, that means that you have–
so if you multiply it by 25 students, that means you
have $250,000 for the teacher and the facilities and
any other technology. And all I’m arguing
for is that the master teachers, the ones
that are really pushing the envelope
here, should get a bulk of these
resources, as opposed to layers of bureaucracy
and whatever else. Now, the last prediction
I’ll make related to education right
over here– and it’s related to all of this–
is because the actual cost of delivering a lot
of the core material, a lot of the core
practice, over here is going to go close to zero,
because you’ll really just need an internet connection and
maybe your peers who are also learning alongside of you. And it’ll become
even better if you have a really
amazing, experienced, professional teacher with you. But the fourth part
of it is I believe we’re going to get to a
99% global literacy rate, and we’re already close to this
in much of the developed world. But in the developing world,
it’s significantly below this. And obviously, you
can imagine if we do get to this type
of a literacy rate what that means for health care,
what that means for population, what that means for
economic growth, what that means for wars. I think this is a very,
very, very positive thing. And coinciding with this idea
that students around the world are able to get access to
a world-class education, that it’s like having clean
drinking water or electricity, I think you start getting closer
to a global meritocracy, where that student who, right
now she might just be the daughter of beggars
in some part of the developed world, but because she has
access to this material and she can develop herself–
and people will know how she’s developing herself, because all
the data is being logged– we can say, wow, she
has the potential to really be one of the
leaders in this creative class. She has the potential to
find the cure for cancer or find a new way
of doing X, Y, or Z. And so you really can give these
students all over the world the opportunities that
they really should have. And hopefully there will
be a ton of opportunities, because the pie will have
gotten so much bigger that we can support a lot of
these creative endeavors.