The Changing Educational Paradigm

One of the greatest challenges for the future of education is that 65% of today’s grade school kids will end up working in a job that hasn’t even been invented yet, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. How do you prepare students, medical or otherwise, to use technology yet to be invented for jobs yet to be defined? How do you move academic deans of colleges, principals of grade, middle and high schools to change curriculum in line with current educational delivery platforms, yet alone those of the future?

White-boarding presentations is one new educational delivery format. Purely for entertainment and comment, included below is a RSAnimate on the Changing Education Paradigms taken from a speech by Sir Kenneth Robinson, presented by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce), an English charity whose mission includes a multi-disciplinary approach to generate research based innovation and change. Among other things, the group provides speeches by thought leaders and distills them into compact messages creatively cartooned on a white board and can be viewed in less than 12 minutes.

How will the changing workforce and demands on education affect medicine? And are we prepared to keep up, open enough to welcome the change that is needed? Simulation, gaming, technological advances in delivery of care, mobile technology, data collection–all have capabilities expanding at exponential rates–rates must faster than any curriculum is being changed to meet those capabilities. How quickly will medicine, and those that lead it, be able to adapt?

An excellent projection as to what the future may hold for education is to the left. Michell Zappa at Envisioning Technologies provides a snapshot of what education may look like into 2040. Digitized classrooms allowing students in Chicago to collaborate with students in Madrid, gamification of learning that provides instant feedback on skill acquisition, on into immersive virtual reality, retinal screens and neuro-informatics–it seems our ability to adapt will be the rate limiting step as compared to our ability to create new ways of learning.

The massive open online course (MOOC) from Coursera that I signed on to experience one of these new educational formats for myself is an amazing thing. Students from around the world are discussing literary works through an active Discussion Forum, and forming local study groups. People innately want to learn and when good content is made accessible it is apparent they show up in droves–thirsty for knowledge. Try one out for yourself and share what you learn.

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One Comment on “The Changing Educational Paradigm”

  1. sgranzyk says:

    Thanks for including the short video with Sir Ken Robinson. He’s definitely on target about education being chronically slow to make necessary changes. With students having access to so much through their laptops, iphones, ipads–it’s important for teachers to get in that sea with them and to help them find what may sink us and what will get us to a new (and better) world. Private schools and public schools in wealthy school districts are starting to do this, but as always, poorer students and school districts need to be armed with the new technology as well.
    Money helps but money alone won’t do it–we have to redesign and retool to make the educational system more just in serving all young people well. That goes hand and hand with addressing other social issues–upgrading infrastructure where most needed, building better schools, providing access to quality health care, paying teachers better and making them accountable once we make changes.


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