Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Education 4.0 by 2040

You may have already run across the terms Industry 4.0, Work 4.0, Health 4.0 … It's now time to start talking about emerging efforts to collaborate on designing and building next generation Education 4.0 solutions.

The US is in the process of developing and implementing Education 3.0, which is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of ways we have been moving over the past decade to better integrate digital technologies into learning using web-based and mobile technologies. It involves moving away from classes and traditional lectures, focuing instead on interactive learning customized to needs of individual students. These efforts will continue well into the next decade.

Looking a bit further into the future, Education 4.0 is a term starting to be used to describe the systems that will be put into place by 2040 to complement and support the global shift to Industry 4.0, Health 4.0, and other next generation advances in every industry and aspect of society. It is characterized by more advanced, global systems utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), invisible user interfaces (IUI), and the convergence of many other technologies - coupled with 'open access' to knowledge, science, and other data resources.

Education 4.0 – Convergence of Technologies

Over the last few years we have seen the emergence of Industry 4.0 and 'Smart' Factories. Industry 4.0 describe a quantum leap forward by manufacturers and distributors of autos, airplanes, appliances, computers, and just about everything we use. Industry 4.0 will involve the development and use of multiple hi-tech solutions for tomorrow's 'smart factories'. It will include the integration and use of multiple converging technologies such as the Internet of Things, Robotics, 3-D Printing, Artificial Intelligence, Wearable Systems, Implantables, Nanotechnology, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality, Embedded ...

Similarly, Health 4.0 will connect all available health information, services, devices and people together in a more meaningful way by 2040. Massive global health data warehouses will store data from a wide range of health IT systems, e.g. Electronic Health Records (EHR), Personal Health Records (PHR), wearable fitness trackers, implantable medical devices, clinical imaging systems, genomic databases, surgical robots, health research knowledgebases and more. Artificial intelligence (AI) system will monitor and analyze the health data gathered on all humans in real-time, detecting potential individual and public health issues and send alerts to your smart personal assistance devices. The system will also be interfaced to pharmacies, laboratories, health insurers, public health agencies, and other institutions as needed. See Global Artificial Intelligence Network for 2040.

Looking at the field of Education & Training, the workplace of the future in Industry 4.0 'smart factories' and healthcare institutions that will be deploying Health 4.0 solutions will require a highly educated workers with new skills that will need to be continuously updated throughout their lives. Key components of Education 4.0 systems will be interoperability, 'open' standards, 'artificial intelligence, the invisible user interface (UIU), 'open access' to knowledgebases, use of virtual reality, mobile technology, and convergence of the wide range of technologies currently being developed.

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Education & Training in 2050

The following is a brief brainstormed list of new technologies, educational needs, processes, projections, and predictions about the field of Education & Training in 2050.

Some of the many slowly converging technologies will have a tremendous impact on the future of Education & Training include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Augmented Reality
Brain Interface Technologies
Free & Open Source Software
Free & Open Access Textbooks
Implantable Systems
Invisible User Interface (IUI)
Language Translation Technology
Multimedia Educational Materials
Mobile Technology & Apps
Personal Learning Assistant
Social Media
Virtual Reality
Virtual Classrooms
Wearable systems
3D Printing Technology

In addition, the following are some of the major changes in Education & Training that we will see by 2050. The changes will impact all educational institutions, educators, trainers, administrative staff, support staff, students, parent, workers, and more:

  • People will have a lifespan of 100 years, a work-span of 80 years and the reality of at least 6 careers and 14 jobs in this time. Life-long learning will be needed by all humans to adapt to the global economy of the 21st century.
  • The education system and schools will dramatically redefine their mission, purpose, structure, funding, curriculum, tools... over the coming decades. Cost-competitive private, online schools and universities will dominate the education landscape by 2050. Global education and training institutions will serve students around the world. Human illiteracy will be largely eliminated around the world by 2050.
  • Teachers will need to become experts in new technologies and how to best use them in different settings. Their role will shift towards becoming education coaches, mentors, career counselors... Teacher compensation will change as the importance of their role, level of expertise, and range of skills increase.
  • 'Personalized education' programs tailored to individual needs and capabilities will develop. Education and training programs will need to be developed and tailored for all age groups.
  • Students will be equipped with some form of artificial intelligence device that will serve as a 'learning companion' and development of 'accelerated learning' programs for motivated students with advanced capabilities will increase.
  • Most 'brick and mortar' campuses will be local commuter campuses allowing for face-to-face learning opportunities when needed. Home schooling and distance learning solutions will further dominate the landscape. 'Intelligent classrooms' of the future will often occur in 'virtual' space.
  • Educational institutions will drastically rethink their curriculum, focusing more on critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills than a specific concentration. They will also be forced to collect and share data on quality of courses, course completion rates, costs, student hiring and more.
  • Ongoing, lifelong vocational training will be made available to those in the country's workforce. Individuals will receive credit for life experience and receive certificates of expertise in lieu of college degrees.
  • Free and 'open source' education software and tools will be available to all. Also, free and 'open access' to most of the world's knowledge and information will be available to everyone. Use of 'open access' textbooks and journals will dramatically lower the cost of education.
  • Both public and private sector institutions will need to collaborate more closely on education and training programs to meet ever changing needs. Governments will subsidize and/or provide free education for all citizens, including college courses. Student loans and debt will become a thing of the past.
  • By 2050, interplanetary education programs may begin to emerge as colonies begin to be established on the moon and Mars.

What else should be added to the list of brainstorming ideas, projections, and predictions about Education 4.0? What else do you think will happen by 2050? 

Education 4.0 – YouTube Video

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