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August 31, 2013

Sal Khan Looks At What Education Might Be Like in 2060




 Future of Education
With school about to begin a new term, the founder and Executive Director of the Khan Academy recently examined what he thinks education might be like in the year 2060.




As students in North America are gearing up for a new school year, founder and Executive Director of the Khan Academy put on his futurist goggles to examine what education might be like in 50 years.

Khan says that already education is moving from a passive model to a more creative, collaborative environment. He says that the bulk of the time in the future students will be building things, creating things and exploring things.  "It doesn't just have to be science and technology, it could be painting a picture or composing a sonnet, or choreographing a dance," he comments.

education in the future

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The progress from physical labor to mental labor will reach a zenith thinks Khan.  More and more technology is eliminating physical labor, freeing up more people to do mental labor.  By 2060, this will become an "extreme form" postulates Khan.  "Even the mental labor will be taken over more and more by automation," says Khan.

The bulk of society in 2060 will be in a "creative class," participating in research, innovation and creative pursuits.  Also, more and more the system will be achievement-based, not just a system based on the amount of time spent on an activity.  Khan says "If I get a 'C' in a calculus class, it is not clear that I understand calculus."  In the future, achievement will be at a higher standard.

Metrics will also include things like how well do you persevere, or work with others says Khan. This will be part of the much greater data-set captured from each student.  


Khan says he hopes the Khan Academy can bring about some of these changes, including dramatically raising the role of teachers and the importance of teachers in society.  "The profession of teaching is going to become even more prestigious - I'm  saying 2060, but I think by 2020 or 2025 you're going to have the teaching profession at parity with others like medicine, or law or engineering," he states.

education in the future


For the most part the conclusions reached by Khan are conservative and do not acknowledge the technological Singularity, or much if any technological changes that will impact education.  Admittedly, Khan says much of his thinking is really only at the 2020's.  It would be great to see what this education innovator really thinks what can happen in fifty years, taking into account technologies like artificial intelligence, brain-machine interfaces, bionics, etc.  Combined with an exponential increase in our understandings of neuroscience, learning Matrix-style may not be out of the range of possibility.  It would even be interesting to hear what he thinks of Google Glass and other augmented reality applications will mean for education.

What are your thoughts on the longer term outlook for education?  Let us know in the comments.




SOURCE  Khan Academy

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