List Headline Image
Updated by David James on Jan 12, 2018
 REPORT
David James David James
Owner
21 items   7 followers   19 votes   6.61k views

21 Predictions about Education in 2020

Back in 2009, educator and blogger Shelley Blake-Plock made some bold predictions about the future of education. At the time, he was editor-in-chief of TeachPaperless — an award-winning blog hailed as "one of the web's most vital, influential collections of conversation and commentary about the intertwined worlds of digital technology, new media, and education" by EdTech: Focus K-12.
He developed a list of 21 things that he felt would become obsolete by the year 2020.
Here we are in 2015 at the halfway mark.
Shelley has since modified his list with his own updates, but here is the original list of 21 items taken from his TeachPaperless blog post re-purposed as a Listly list.
What's your opinion on how far we've come?

13

Attendance Offices

Attendance Offices

Bio scans. 'Nuff said.

20

Current Curricular Norms

Current Curricular Norms

There is no reason why every student needs to take however many credits in the same course of study as every other student. The root of curricular change will be the shift in middle schools to a role as foundational content providers and high schools as places for specialized learning.

5

Desks

Desks

The 21st century does not fit neatly into rows. Neither should your students. Allow the network-based concepts of flow, collaboration, and dynamism help you rearrange your room for authentic 21st century learning.

6

Language Labs

Language Labs

Foreign language acquisition is only a smartphone away. Get rid of those clunky desktops and monitors and do something fun with that room.

7

Computers

Computers

Ok, so this is a trick answer. More precisely this one should read: 'Our concept of what a computer is'. Because computing is going mobile and over the next decade we're going to see the full fury of individualized computing via handhelds come to the fore. Can't wait.

8

Homework

Homework

The 21st century is a 24/7 environment. And the next decade is going to see the traditional temporal boundaries between home and school disappear. And despite whatever Secretary Duncan might say, we don't need kids to 'go to school' more; we need them to 'learn' more. And this will be done 24/7 and on the move (see #3).

9

The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions

The Role of Standardized Tests in College Admissions

The AP Exam is on its last legs. The SAT isn't far behind. Over the next ten years, we will see Digital Portfolios replace test scores as the #1 factor in college admissions.

10

Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher

Differentiated Instruction as the Sign of a Distinguished Teacher

The 21st century is customizable. In ten years, the teacher who hasn't yet figured out how to use tech to personalize learning will be the teacher out of a job. Differentiation won't make you 'distinguished'; it'll just be a natural part of your work.

11

Fear of Wikipedia

Fear of Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the greatest democratizing force in the world right now. If you are afraid of letting your students peruse it, it's time you get over yourself.

12

Paperbacks

Paperbacks

Books were nice. In ten years' time, all reading will be via digital means. And yes, I know, you like the 'feel' of paper. Well, in ten years' time you'll hardly tell the difference as 'paper' itself becomes digitized.

16

Centralized Institutions

Centralized Institutions

School buildings are going to become 'homebases' of learning, not the institutions where all learning happens. Buildings will get smaller and greener, student and teacher schedules will change to allow less people on campus at any one time, and more teachers and students will be going out into their communities to engage in experiential learning.

17

Organization of Educational Services by Grade

Organization of Educational Services by Grade

Education over the next ten years will become more individualized, leaving the bulk of grade-based learning in the past. Students will form peer groups by interest and these interest groups will petition for specialized learning. The structure of K-12 will be fundamentally altered.

18

Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology

Education School Classes that Fail to Integrate Social Technology

This is actually one that could occur over the next five years. Education Schools have to realize that if they are to remain relevant, they are going to have to demand that 21st century tech integration be modeled by the very professors who are supposed to be preparing our teachers.

21

Parent-Teacher Conference Night

Parent-Teacher Conference Night

Ongoing parent-teacher relations in virtual reality will make parent-teacher conference nights seem quaint. Over the next ten years, parents and teachers will become closer than ever as a result of virtual communication opportunities. And parents will drive schools to become ever more tech integrated.

23

Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering

Outsourced Graphic Design and Webmastering

You need a website/brochure/promo/etc.? Well, for goodness sake just let your kids do it. By the end of the decade -- in the best of schools -- they will be.

24

High School Algebra I

High School Algebra I

Within the decade, it will either become the norm to teach this course in middle school or we'll have finally woken up to the fact that there's no reason to give algebra weight over statistics and IT in high school for non-math majors (and they will have all taken it in middle school anyway).

25

Paper

Paper

In ten years' time, schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%. And the printing industry and the copier industry and the paper industry itself will either adjust or perish.

14

Lockers

Lockers

A coat-check, maybe.

15

IT Departments

IT Departments

Ok, so this is another trick answer. More subtly put: IT Departments as we currently know them. Cloud computing and a decade's worth of increased wifi and satellite access will make some of the traditional roles of IT -- software, security, and connectivity -- a thing of the past. What will IT professionals do with all their free time? Innovate. Look to tech departments to instigate real change in the function of schools over the next twenty years.

19

Paid/Outsourced Professional Development

Paid/Outsourced Professional Development

No one knows your school as well as you. With the power of a PLN in their backpockets, teachers will rise up to replace peripatetic professional development gurus as the source of schoolwide prof dev programs. This is already happening.

22

Typical Cafeteria Food

Typical Cafeteria Food

Nutrition information + handhelds + cost comparison = the end of $3.00 bowls of microwaved mac and cheese. At least, I so hope so.