Yes, I believe that education in the future will be handed through Virtual Reality.
Our current education is based on an outdated methodology (with origins in the agriculture and factory industries) that isn’t preparing its students for the future, or even the current job market. Graduates today are having a harder time finding a work in their field, or any job in general, because the way that work is being done has changed since the last generation. Employers are looking for highly qualified people with several years experience in any field, but aren’t willing to take the time to train new hires. The kinds of jobs that were available 20 years ago have changed and led to an increase in entrepreneurs and freelancers in the workforce, and yet our institutional learning systems haven’t addressed this shift.
Education still teaches you to sit still for 8 hours a day. To repeat facts and numbers like machines in order for us to be considered “smart.” That your level of intelligence is the average of the people you happen to share the room with. Well the definition of smart is changing. The resources and technology that is available at our fingertips by the internet has changed what it means to be smart, and by proxy what value each of us can perform at our jobs. And this new definition isn’t supported by a system that tries to create education clones.
I predict that education of the future is going to be based on individuals not being told what to learn, but choosing courses that relate to their best talents. This shift is already visible with the amount of tutorials, workshops, and courses available online. Just look at Creative Live, Khan Academy, or YouTube for that matter. And this shift needs to happen to reflect our changing workforce, and take our education from trying to make one student fits all situations, into allowing students the ability to focuses on their talents. And VR is only going to strengthen this new form of learning
VR provides access to a level of connectivity never seen before, connecting students to classrooms and mentors directly related to their own interests and skills. Classrooms that someone can enter on their own initiative, practise, repeat, engage, fail, and try again at their own interest, and master their chosen vocation. This cycle is necessary to fill in the gap of intelligence missing in our current hiring process. What would change if employers still required 3–5 years of training for a job, and now anyone who is passionate about that kind of work can actually take time to train and learn the requirements at their convenience. Scenario based learning has the potential to fill in this vital gap in our education and workforce, and VR is the key.
We’re many years away from this shift yet. VR will need to become more accessible as well as the tools and hardware required to produce that kinds of content. But think about this: one day a student may be able to sign into the class of their choice online, and access the mentorship of the best minds in the world and master a skill or utility that they are truly passionate about. What a world we could create with that kind of democracy in education.
That’s where I feel we’re headed folks.