Someone's Wrong on the Internet: Fast Company Edition

In that shining beacon of robust journalism, Fast Company, the future of education was again predicted:

Salim Ismail, a director at Singularity University, predicts education will become an “on-demand service” where people “pull down a module of learning” when they need it. Large bundles of knowledge, as in traditional courses, will be out. Specific will be in.

Eze Vidra, head of Google Entrepreneurs Europe says: “School kids will learn from short bite-sized modules, and gamification practices will be incorporated in schools to incentivize children to progress on their own.”

I left a comment (very much inflected by @1L2P’s talk) and wondered if you guys wanted to jump in the conversation with your thoughts?

Eze Vidra’s vision for the future is disappointing–I’d urge them to think deeper about goals for 21st century learning. Generally, folks agree those are interpersonal skills (knowing how to work with others) and intrapersonal skills (self-regulation, learning how to learn, instrinsic curiosity). Neither of those areas are tapped by “gamification” (ie behaviorism) or working on a series of problems someone else gives you (direct instruction).

Let’s dream bigger. What if learning looked like the web?


gamification practices will be incorporated in schools to incentivize children to progress on their own.

Yeah, we really need gamification, because children in the future won’t actually like what we want to teach them and without upping their dopamine levels they may just end up learning stuff they’re interested in!


Just read this:

Now those schools themselves need to be changed, to foster the creativity that humans will need to set them apart from computers. There should be less rote-learning and more critical thinking. Technology itself will help, whether through MOOCs (massive open online courses) or even video games that simulate the skills needed for work.

The definition of “a state education” may also change. Far more money should be spent on pre-schooling, since the cognitive abilities and social skills that children learn in their first few years define much of their future potential. And adults will need continuous education. State education may well involve a year of study to be taken later in life, perhaps in stages.

Seems like they have some better expectations of education in the future.

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