Just like other educators and trend-watchers, I have spent a lot of time writing and speaking about the changing landscape of American education. From pricing to delivery to the nexus of skills that we expect students to acquire through education, it is evident that we are in the midst of a pivot point. However, I find that most of what I am reading from others describes the future as nearly a myriad of doomsday scenarios, while I believe that we are simply on the cusp of a needed rebirth of education. There is no question that education will continue to experience change in the future, but I am not sure that the "sky is falling" and our system of education will fall with it. Here is why.
I believe we are in the midst of a new renaissance in education. The next decade will be marked by advances that will define the future, boggle our mind, and enhance the learning experience in the future. Progressive ideas in education will win out, with learner-centric focus, high integration of technology, and a more stratified set of consumer choices available. Education will be available to more people in different ways, from online learning to hybrid to in residence, each with a different cost and quality combination. What's not to like?
I also believe that integration always follows innovation. If that age old axiom is true, the current systems and processes will collectively work out their collaborative wrinkles and create a new system of learning, delivery, and pricing that will work in a integrated fashion. It will take time and energy, but it will create a stronger system in the long haul.
I really believe that we in the midst of a rebirth in education and it will produce exciting changes that we will all collectively witness. The only doomsday I think could happen are the schools and colleges that fail to innovate and determine where they stand in the mix of the new system. It will be difficult - nearly impossible - for all institutions of learning to do all things well. I think organizations will have to choose their strategy wisely from their core competencies and find the right market position for them. But, those that fail to acknowledge the change and the implications on their environment will potentially suffer consequences.
Is education the new Renaissance? I sure think it is has the potential to experience a rebirth unlike any other industry. As far as I can see from my experiences, the future holds exciting times to be embraced, not to be feared.