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Abstract

Over the years, the education system has remained inert. Since time immemorial, the character of our education system has been; classrooms full of students, and all-knowing instructors acting as the sole sources of information to the students. In the contemporary world, advancement in technology and development of a new educational model provide evidence that, it is possible to move from the traditional methods of instructing to a new model of education. This research paper seeks to find out the effectiveness of future education, as opposed to the current education, and the feasibility of adaption of future education, given the current technological environment. The researcher utilizes case study approach to achieve the objectives. The research findings indicate that the future education system has more benefits than the current education system. The future education system allows learners to develop a culture of learning on their own, as opposed to depending on their instructors. This enables learners to perform effectively in the current employment sector, where employees are required to learn new things continuously, given the rapid advancement in technology. The research findings also indicate that, adaption of the future education system is feasible in the world today, through use of computer and information technologies.

  1. INTRODUCTION

            Over the years, the education system has remained inert. Since time immemorial, the character of our education system has been; classrooms full of students, and all-knowing instructors acting as the sole sources of information to the students. In the contemporary world, advancement in technology and development of a new educational model provide evidence that, it is possible to move from the traditional methods of instructing to a new model of education. In spite of these advancements, many education institutions today still utilize the traditional method of instructing. According to Molebash, many educators seem optimistic about use of technology, and the new educational model. However, the rate of technological advancements poses a threat to these educators since they fear that, the students may not be able to keep up with the pace of technological advancements, given the fact that, they depend on their guardians for provision of all basic and secondary necessities.

            The world is currently changing at an increasing rate. With the rapid advancement in information technology, people around the globe are being able to communicate both asynchronously and synchronously with each other. The availability of information has enabled many people to enlarge the views they previously had about the world. Based on these new developments, the education system must change in order to encompass the features of the rapidly changing world. Molebash views that; the perceived change in the education paradigm is likely to take effect very soon. “The current teaching paradigm of the teacher as the possessor and transferor of information is shifting to a new paradigm of the teacher as a facilitator or coach”. This new paradigm will present new contextual education settings, which will allow students to take part in joint education activities. These joint education activities will definitely require frequent communication, and use of information, which can only be provided by information technology.

  1.  LITERATURE REVIEW

            In order to understand the connection between future education and technology, it important to first understand the historical trends of the current technology, and its connection with education. The first largest electric computer was developed in the University of Pennsylvania between 1944 and 1946 . In the 1980s, an advanced computer was introduced, which led to popularization of desktop computers in businesses and industries. However, it has been noted that, as businesses and industries try to keep up with the pace of technological advancements, the education sector always comes last in adaptation of technological changes. When the former Apple Inc. CEO: Steve Jobs introduced the graphical interface, the world was very enthusiastic about its use. On the contrary, the educators resisted its use in the classrooms despite the fact that, it was capable of allowing easy interaction between the educators and the students. Early in 1980s, the government of the United States supplied many schools with computers. However, educators reluctantly adapted the use of these computers in classrooms.

            Even though the educators continue to show resistance in adaption of technology in the education system, the world’s economy continues to move towards creation and use technologically advanced economic systems. A study conducted in 1998 indicated that, by 1998, the total global spending on information technology was $1.8 trillion. This was a 40% increase from 1992. Consequently, more than 500,000 jobs related to information technology were in existence by 1998. The research concluded that advancement in information technology was greatly contributing to the globe’s economic activity. For this reason, educators should consider the type of economy, which the students will be entering into after they finish their studies. Therefore, the future of the globe’s economy lies with the ability of the educators to prepare the students with skills and knowledge, which will be capable of supporting the future needs of the world economy.

            For instance, six years ago, there was no career known as webmaster. Today, this career is among the top selling careers across the globe. This is a good illustration of how our education system needs to prepare students for future jobs. Currently, the world economy is relying on the education system to provide support in the employment sector due to the rapid expansion of information and computer technologies. “Workers are facing the likelihood that they will need retooling during their careers. Education is increasingly becoming a lifelong activity” . Bearing this in mind, students need to be prepared for lifetime learning. This involves teaching students how to learn on their own using information technology.

            Mobelash points out that, even though many institutions of higher learning have embraced distance learning, the educators are still using the traditional model of instructing. For instance, in distance learning, the same traditional method of delivering instructions to the students is still used: instructor as the only source of information. This indicates that even though some of our learning institutions have adapted the use of information technology in education, improvements are needed ensure that students are taught how to become lifetime learners.

            Despite the sluggish adaption of the new educational paradigm by many educators, the futurists are optimist that the change will eventually take place. Currently, quite a number of higher learning institutions in the United States utilize online teaching and learning methods. A survey conducted in 2004 indicated that, approximately, 2.4 million students had registered for online courses in the fall of 2004. The results of the survey indicated that online teaching and learning provided students with an opportunity to learn how to gain knowledge on their own. This will help them to adapt in the changing global employment sector where, employees are supposed to adapt the culture of lifetime learning.

  1. METHODOLOGY

This research paper utilizes case study approach as a method of collecting data and making analysis. Case study involves undertaking an in depth study of a particular situation rather than undertaking statistical survey. Given the time limitation in this study, the researcher has opted to use case study method since it allows for narrowing down of wide fields of research into manageable research areas. One of the advantages of case study method of research is that, it provides a more realistic approach to a given research field as opposed to statistical testing. It also allows a researcher to focus on a specific area of interest . These are the merits, which guided the researcher to choose use of case study in this paper.

The focus of this research is to determine the feasibility of adaption of the new education paradigm, which entails application of information technology and teaching the learners how to depend on themselves in search of information as opposed to the current teaching paradigm where the instructor is the sole source of learning information. Therefore, the researcher identified various studies conducted by previous researchers, concerning application of aspects of future education in the current education system. Then, the researcher utilized the results of these studies to determine the feasibility, and the effectiveness of new educational paradigm in the world today.

  1. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

One of the case studies used in this research was based on a survey of individuals believed to play important role in the current education system. They included professors, school administrators, and instructional designers. The results of the survey indicated that 95% of the respondents utilized online method of teaching and learning in their institutions. They also admitted to use of web technology and computers during face-to-face teaching in classrooms.

More than 50% of the respondents indicated that online teaching and learning is likely to change drastically within the next five years. However, they suggested that use of wireless technologies, reusable content objects, digital libraries, peer-to-peer collaboration, and assistive technologies will greatly assist both the educators and the learners to utilize online method of teaching and learning continuously, despite the rapid advancement in technology. In addition, the survey results indicated that 80% of the instructors were capable of supporting the needs of future education system, since most of them demonstrated that, they were tech-savvies. However, the respondents indicated the need for learning institutions to provide the necessary facilities for supporting adaption of future education.

Many of the instructors indicated the need for training and support from their institutions on how to change from the current educational paradigm to the suggested educational paradigm successfully, without affecting the learners. They also indicated the need for learners to be trained on how to utilize the technological features of the suggested educational paradigm. The survey concluded that, the future education system contains features, which are capable of preparing learners to cope with the future, given the rapid advancement in technology, as opposed to the features of the current education system. Therefore, if both the educators and the learners adapt the use of the future education system, the globe’s economy is likely be better off than if the current education system continues to operate.

In a recent study conducted by the World Bank, education was found to play a vital role in the development of the world’s economy. From the study, many countries both developed and developing countries were seen have continually changed their education systems, in line with economic and technological changes across the globe. The study indicated that the per capital income of a country depends on the ability of the country’s education system to adequately prepare learners to work in the technology dominated employment sector. From the study, developed countries, which have already started to use the features of the future education system, such as computer and information technologies in online teaching and learning, have been experiencing increased per capital income since the last decade. The World Bank’s research study concludes that adaption of the new educational paradigm is possible, given the current rate of adaption of use of computer and information technologies across the globe. However, the World Bank’s study recommends development of educational policies, which support adaption of the new educational paradigm in learning institutions.

  1. CONCLUSION

Based on the research findings, the future education, which is encompassed in the new educational paradigm (less dependence of learners on the instructors for information through use of computer and information technologies), presents a better method of learning as opposed to the current education method (great dependence of learners on the instructor for information). Currently, many institutions of higher learning have embraced online method of teaching and learning. Online teaching and learning have been seen to encourage students develop a culture of learning on their own, hence are able to acquire the necessary skills for survival in the current employment sector, whereby, one is required to be a lifetime learner.

Given the rapid technological changes taking place in the world today, modern learners are supposed to be equipped with skills, which will enable them secure employment in the future. This can be achieved by providing an education system, which trains the learners on skills that are predicted to be of use in the future. Research indicates that the future education system has the capacity to equip learners with future skills. If all education institutions agree to adapt the new system of education, then the economy of the world will continue to grow since people will be equipped with necessary skills for navigating through the technological changes across all economic sectors. Given the current global advancements in technology, adaption of future education in our education institutions is feasible. Indeed, the world’s economy stands a better chance of development with the future education, as opposed to the current education system.

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