The Tech Ed Revolution: No More Grades or Division by Age

Higher-learning institutions are beginning to offer classes online, but this is just the start. Within fifteen years, concepts like grades and dividing students by age will also be challenged. 

What's the Latest Development?

The digital revolution has come to education and during the next fifteen years, the way we educate our children, and how we think of education itself, will change in fundamental ways, says Tim Brady, co-founder of Imagine K12, an incubator for tech companies focused on the K-12 market. Brady says the changes will come in three specific waves, the first beginning with the rise of more youthful teachers. The teaching generation that grew up with Netscape, says Brady, "assume that the web is a part of their daily lives and integrate it into their daily routines without giving it much of a thought."

What's the Big Idea?

The final wave of the digital education revolution will result in schools reconsidering fundamental assumptions it currently holds, such as giving students grades and partitioning them according to age. "Kids will be able to test out of certain classes by proving competency. High schools, and maybe even middle schools, will begin to operate less like factories and more like colleges." And thanks to the ubiquity of high-technology, the distinction between being in and out of school will blur, making motivation the driving force behind education, rather than the dictates of a time-based school.

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