In the near future, technology will play an even more fundamental role in transforming not only how we teach, but also how students learn. The role of teacher will have completely morphed into that of a coach or mentor, and teachers will place much more emphasis on self-directed, competency-based learning. In that setting, students will be assessed not on how much they know, but on what they can do with what they know. In that regard, today, my students are already beginning to benefit.
I’m not the only one who predicts this future. About a year ago, I first spoke with Curtis J. Bonk, Professor of Instructional Systems Technology at Indiana University. Bonk is the author of The World is Open: How Technology Is Revolutionizing Education, as well as a leading authority on online and distance learning.
“I think kids in 20 years are going to walk into school and pick their peers for the day,” he says. “And they’ll be coming from all over the world. They’ll just hit a little map and they might even pick their teachers for the day coming from Philippines and Singapore and other places.”
All of this isn’t that farfetched. Still in its infancy, educational technology continues to make learning more personal, meaningful, and intricate. Changes in instruction, and how instruction is delivered, will also coincide with an evolving understanding of what it means to be educated, and what it takes to be successful....