Education is important. And the way we learn is evolving.
Education is a space I hold close to my heart. Not in the sense of tradition, go to school, get a degree etc. But more in a sense to improve yourself, learn more about the world we live in and discovery. Read, go courses, watch lectures, be curious and pick up new skills to help you advance in life. Even though I do not have a traditional academic background being self taught, I do value education and knowledge consumption highly. I will continue to be a student as long as I live.
Having now spent close to 2 years in the EdTech space as a CTO, my mental energy is increasingly aimed at thinking about the future of education. A big part of my job is to keep track of trends and innovation and find ways for us to be at the forefront in the industry leading the way from a technological perspective.
I have since November 2020 joined Earned Secrets to help build the “Success Academy” (Framgångsakademin, official Swedish name). The Success Academy is an online education platform where we invite leading experts within different fields to create the highest quality online courses in the country. Complementary to the online video courses are live events in form of Q&A’s and workshops. We recently also launched a more casual live pod that’s available for everyone. Unfortunately it’s only in Swedish. But if you know Swedish, fantastic! Give it a go!
The way I see it, it doesn’t start with tech.
The way I see innovation in education is very psychological. I see technology as tools that lead me to questions like, how can these digital tools help us learn and advance more efficiently? How can we help knowledge stick more? Make students be more engaged? Inspire people to learn more? One thing that I love about technology is its ability to create interactivity and dynamically adapt across time and individual preferences and at the same time be able to scale to the masses without loosing individual focus.
So basically, code is the last part I think about when thinking deeply about learning. Psychology first and then hit hard with architecture. Without the human aspect, technology rarely means anything. It just becomes a collection of trendy buzzwords that dies off after a year or two. But, if we can tap in to the psychology of how humans learn and create systems to be served through an elegant interface that’s intuitive and easy to use, then we are on to something.
How do we learn in the future? Most likely not in a physical classroom.
We already see the shift happening. The online education space have really exploded the past few years, especially after the covid-19 pandemic entered the world. We also see higher education opening up for a more open online approach. Eg. MIT and Stanford now have programs online. And this will only grow over time.
What if each person could have their own personal teacher as a hologram to teach them whatever subject? The avatar would be shaped with a personality and looks that’s catered for you to reach stimuli maxima. What if your personal teacher knew you so well, it could sense what you want to accomplish? And with that, create educational paths for you to take in order for you to reach your personal goals faster? It could track your progress and make market comparisons, and in turn make estimates when you will reach the goal with current effort.
This might sound like science-fiction to most people. But we have AI, machine/deep-learning advancing at a rapid pace. And we have already seen Augmented Reality showing a form of hologram. I don’t think it’s too far fetched to think that it’s a potential reality not that far ahead.
However, there’s caveats not to be ignored.
Of course, this also brings up a lot of moral and ethical questions. Should we really be taking it that far? The amounts of data for something like this to be possible might be a highly sensitive topic. Especially in a time where personal data has been so poorly handled by big tech companies like Facebook. But that’s a different topic for a different post or discussion. The upside is that this concept doesn’t have the intention to profit from you as the product. Its literally purpose is to enhance your life. And that, I think, is something worth giving some thought. And it would also require you to actually agree and give consent for it to happen with full transparency.
I love technology and I love building the future. But I still love the feeling and smell of opening a physical book for the first time when I want to dive deep in to a subject. For all the advancements in tech that really excites me, I’m very happy books aren’t going anywhere… not yet at least.