Thursday, April 14, 2011

Scott McLeod's Predictions on the Future of Education

Scot McLeod recently advanced a number of predictions for education (if not now in some cases). What has struck me the most about the list is that most of the predictions are "cloud-based" initiatives. I was also struck with how the likelihood of these trends move in opposition to the content of most of our strategic plans. Take a moment and read McLeod's predictions. Think about the target areas within your strategic plan and how the time, resource allocation, and action steps stand in alignment or misalignment to the predictions below. 

  •        digital rather than analog / ink on paper
  •         informal
  •        online and less dependent on local humans
  •        mobile
  •        networked / interconnected
  •        multimedia
  •        self-directed / inquiry-based
  •         individualized / personalized
  •        computer-based and software-mediated, less dependent on humans
  •        open / accessible (in the sense of OER)
  •        project-based
  •        simulation–or game-based

At the end of McLeod's blog, he poses the question: "How do we design and operationalize our learning environments to reflect these characteristics? And if we don’t, can we have any hope of staying relevant to the needs of students, families, and society?" Certainly it's a difficult question, but in truth district administrators need to be logged on, plugged in, knee deep in the digital "stream" to even be able to determine how the strategic intent of the schools we are leading is in concert with the thrust and force of the predictions above. We exist in a global world that is changing 24/7. I argue that more than ever before, we need to have the presence of mind to recognize McLeod's predictions not as threats but as tools to hasten our aligned, strategic intent of facilitating the conditions for powerful learning. 

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