What will the future of higher education look like? Will we still be attending brick-and-mortar universities, or will we be “attending” all of our classes remotely in the comfort of our own home, on a beach, in outer space, etc.?
Things have already changed dramatically since I was in college just 20 years or so ago. (Has it been that long already?!)
When I was a freshman, my dorm wasn’t even wired for the Internet. Heck, most people didn’t even understand what the Internet was yet. I didn’t even check my college email until I was a senior, and even then I just thought it was a passing fad.
We also still depended upon antiquated “technologies”, such as blackboards and textbooks and overhead projectors. There were no such things as Smart Boards or ebooks. (By the way, we didn't have cell phones yet either. We even had a payphone inside my fraternity house!)
Now today, with mobile devices and online classes and things like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), the way we deliver and receive education is evolving, too.
So what does the future hold for higher education?
In an online piece for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Jeff Selingo, author of College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students (2013), talks about how we might “reimagine the undergraduate college experience in the future.”
Selingo references a yearlong exercise at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (aka, d.school), in which students, faculty, and administrators discussed how higher education might look different down the road.
A sampling of the ideas they came up with included the “open loop” university, where students would attend a series of college “loops” over a lifetime, rather than all at once; and purpose learning, where, instead of declaring a major, a student would declare a “mission” as a means to an end for their studies.
One thing’s for sure: higher education is in constant flux, and the way we learn will continue to change as new technologies and ideologies continue to emerge almost daily. ~
So what do you think college will be like five, ten, even fifty years from now? We’d love to know. Please leave your comments below.