A Lecture/Discussion By Professor Ed Frame FUTURE TRENDS IN EDUCATION “The problem with the future is that it keeps becoming the present” Calvin and Hobbes
Here Comes the Future “Two things make a great futurist; a fascination and interest in change and you don’t want to get an mba.”
A Student's Perspective Will technology help Today’s college student?
QUESTION TO CONSIDER • Where are the students getting their information and how should this impact our courses?
Thesis At the colleges we seem to sometimes get “stuck in past” in terms of our teaching and courses offered. Future studies (futurology) allows us to examine possible happenings in the future based on our current knowledge and logical reasoning.
A Quote From a Futurist’s University (Singularity University in California) • “We’re going to be unapologetically interdisciplinary. That’s not because it’s fashionable, or because the faculty took a vote, but because nature has no departments” Neil Jacobstein in the article “What Traditional Academics Can Learn From a Futurist’s University” in ”The Chronicle” June 30, 2009
Futurology, a Definition • The study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them.
A quote by Ian Pearson concerning futurology • “There’s nothing new about star-gazing in all its forms. It’s one of the world’s oldest professions-along with prostitution! In former times they used to carve chickens open. It was not very effective. Then they became more sophisticated and began looking at the stars. But I don’t have a lot of time for astrologists. There’s no mystical side to futurology. It’s about logical reasoning and extrapolation in the future.”
Why the Need For Future Studies from a College Student’s Point of View? • Gone are the times when a education could last a lifetime. • We are faced with situations that change continually. • The need to anticipate possible changes gives us the ability to adapt quickly. • For example: In some fields, a university degree can be obsolete within a few years.
New College Majors An increase in unusual college majors may foretell the growth of unique new career specialties. Instead of simply majoring in business, more students are beginning to explore niche majors such as sustainable business, strategic intelligence, and entrepreneurship. Other unusual majors that are capturing students' imaginations: neuroscience and nanotechnology, computer and digital forensics, and comic book art. Scoff not: The market for comic books and graphic novels in the United States has grown 12% since 2006. —THE FUTURIST, World Trends & Forecasts, Sep-Oct 2008.
Future Trends in a College Education • All the following quotes are from the “Chronicle of Higher Education” and “The Chronicle Research Services”: 1) The idyll of four years away from home-spent living and learning and growing into adulthood-will continue to wane. 2) More students will attend classes online. • Students will demand more options for taking courses.
4) The full-time residential model of higher education is getting too expensive for a larger share of the American population. • 5) Three-year degree programs, which some colleges are now launching, will almost assuredly proliferate. • 6) Students will increasingly expect access to classes from cellular phones and other portable computing devices. • 7) Faculty members must be ready and flexible. • 8) There is little information that students cannot find on their own if they are inspired to do so.
9) The faculty member may become less an oracle and more an organizer and guide, someone who adds perspective context, finds the best articles and research, and sweeps away misconceptions and bad information. • 10) By 2020 students will be taking up to 60 percent of their courses entirely online. • 11) The average age of students will keep trending higher. • 12) Community colleges should continue to thrive because of their reputations for convenience.
13) At the present rate of decline, the next two decades will see the percentage of tenured and tenure-track professors plunge into the single digits. (Look at the tenured colleagues to your left and right. Imagine them gone) • 14) Innovation will continue to take place, and scholars with new skill sets will enter the humanistic academy. The natural locus for these changes may be interdisciplinary centers, most of them responsible for raising their own support from outside grants. • 15) Natural and social sciences will move into the humanities.
16) More faculty members will routinely spend two-week or semester segments teaching abroad, as part of joint or dual-degree programs with foreign universities. • 17) More successful faculty members will work on through their 70’s. • 18) The successful faculty member will utilize technology in ways that haven’t even been conceived in 2010.
Continuous Job Training • An individual's professional knowledge is becoming outdated at a much faster rate than ever before. Most professions will require continuous instruction and retraining. Rapid changes in the job market and work-related technologies will necessitate job education for almost every worker. At any given moment, a substantial portion of the labor force will be in job retraining programs. — Marvin J. Cetron and Owen Davies
Discussion Concerning “The Future of Learning: 12 Views on Emerging Trends in Higher education” and how Valencia might address the issues.
1) Globalization. • 2) A Diverse student body. • 3) Digital Native students. • 4) More education in less space. • 5) Advances in technology. • 6) Interdisciplinary learning. • 7) Students will gain more control. • 8) Age of students to rise. • 9) Competition for Students. • 10) College partnered with regional economic development
11) Increase in part-time faculty • 12) Accountability and assessment tools.
A detailed futurist’s analysis of one aspect of the Future:THE BRAIN • Arthur Saniotis Writes in World Future Review in June 2009: • Human evolution is unique in that is has been able to make substantial evolutionary leaps compared with other species. • The human species is the first and only species which is now capable of tinkering with its own evolution. • The human brain is the most complex structure in the known universe, composed of some 100 billion neurons. • Each neuron has at least 10,000 synaptic connections, which proffers approximately 1,000 trillion neural connections.
As a self-organized system the brain is designed for producing novelty. • We live in an age of remediation of the body and are on the verge of brain remediation via brain chips. • According to Stephen Hawking, making humans smarter is essential, if we are ever to travel to the stars. • The future will more to a true machine/mind interface-specifically, the brain would be modified by an array of bio-chips which will mediate cognition and emotion.
Brain/machine interfaces (BMIs) would be posited on bio-feedback between neurons and bio-chips and driven by neuronal electrical impulses. • Such implants would facilitate the creation of virtual realities. • This would provide the uses with alternative experiences perceived as real. • The cyborg/brain interface should start at a young age during brain growth in order to achieve optimal cognitive development.
One area of AI interface will be the availability of “ideology chips” designed to augment intelligence. • Nanotechnologies will be able to morph objects at a molecular level. • Kurzweil an American inventor and futurist, predicts that is will be possible to reconfigure biological cells such as brain neurons in order to create nanotech neural pathways. • For Kurzweil, evolution is far too slow and unreliable, especially in the area of cognitive development.
Kurzweil states: “Today, our software connot grow. It is stuck in a brain of a mere 100 hundred trillion connections and synapses. But when the hardware is trillions of times more capable, there is no reason for our minds to stay so small” (1999). • The nanotech brain will provide us with a utopian life style free from mental illness, psychosis, fear and anxiety. • It will provide direct link to the internet (Dinello 2005). • Another futurist, Nick Bostrom asserts that a mind downloaded onto a silicon chip or “mind file” will possess the personality and memories of the organic person (2005)
With advances in virtual reality, computer simulations will become more efficient and nanotechnology will be crucial in this development. • A planetary computer in the rage of 10^42 operations per second could contain all the knowledge obtained throughout the entire course of human history. • People may also be able to create friendships with imaginative entities – fictional characters with fabricated histories.
THE END OR PERHAPS JUST THE BEGINNING