While no-one can accurately predict the future, there are some signals which, depending on the direction and speed of progression, could have a profound impact on the size, shape and structure of education and indeed on the very way in which learning occurs.
After learning about the 5 Scenarios for the Future of Education developed by HolonIQ as part of the Education 2030 Research Project, audiences around the world voted on the likelihood of each scenario and which they would prefer, if given a choice. One thousand voices joined this global research project and the sessions held in Beijing, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Paris and London sparked all sorts of conversations about where education might be heading.
The Beijing event, held in conjunction with JMDedu, brought together teachers, entrepreneurs, university leaders and investors from local and international organisations. Reflecting China’s modern and fast growing education sector, the audience included people from small education start-ups, mega-organisations, investors and university leaders – all with a common interest in better understanding global education and innovation trends.
Perhaps not surprisingly, given China’s focus on advanced technology and artificial intelligence in particular, Beijing voted for the ‘Robo Revolution’ scenario with a margin double that of the next preferred options – Peer-to-Peer and Global Giants.
Held as part of EdTech Israel conference in June, 2018, an audience of 300 voted strongly for a Peer-to-Peer education future. Start Up Nation’s technology focus also came to the fore with a Robo-Revolution scenario coming a close second in preference.
The Tel Aviv audience generally held positive sentiment about the potential for technology to support and enhance learning, and the opportunity for it to support other scenarios, such as peer-to-peer models.
Around seventy education innovators gathered at Facebook Digitales Lernzentrum in Berlin to discuss Education in 2030 and vote on 5 Scenarios. Recognising the potential of joining forces to support both innovation and efficiency, the ‘Regional Rising’ scenario gained almost 20% of the votes. There was less enthusiasm for Global Giants and Education-As-Usual, with Peer-to-Peer and Robo-Revolution once again being identified as the most preferred scenarios.
Discussion focused on the likelihood of multiple variations of each of these scenarios playing out in different geographies and sectors.
A Peer-to-Peer education solution in 2030 was the dominant preference from the audience in Paris, perhaps reflecting the strong focus on local education systems in the country. There was generally an aversion to the ‘Global Giants’ Scenario – either by technology companies or large education providers, however the audience was positive about how technology can be used to augment traditional models.
Partnering with LearnSpace, France’s first dedicated EdTech Accelerator for this event, it is clear that the French education innovation ecosystem is strong with education providers, schools, startups, investors and incubators working closely to advance innovation.
London was abuzz with ‘all things EdTech’ in the week of 18th June for London EdTech Week and EdTechXEurope, one of the most prominent EdTech conferences globally. Perhaps not surprising, given the audience, there was not one vote cast for the ‘Education-as-Usual’ Scenario from the global audience in London.
Once again, a ‘Peer-to-Peer’ model proved most popular, followed by the possibilities of AI for education inferred in the ‘Robo Revolution’ scenario.