OLGA R. SAN MARTIN (Madrid). Updated 09/28/201510:04 Educational systems throughout the world will undergo major modifications by the technological revolution of 2030. In the next 15 years, the internet will turn schools into "interactive environments" that will turn traditional learning upside down and change the way of being for teachers, parents and students. In the school of the future, formal classes will disappear and the teacher will no longer only act as a transmitter of knowledge, but will have as his/her main mission, to guide the student through his/her own learning process. The curriculum will be tailored to the needs of each student and personal and practical skills will be valued rather than academic content. The Internet will be the main source of knowledge, even more than the school, and English will be established as the global language of teaching. Education will be more expensive and will last a lifetime. 645 international experts interviewed through a survey reached these conclusions, which has been accessed by THE WORLD, that define how schools will be in 2030. The report has been prepared by the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a think tank Formed by 15,000 knowledgeable people and promoted by the Qatar Foundation Which from the 4th to the 6th of November will meet in Doha to discuss some of these issues. The work - in which they have participated, among others, the linguist Noam Chomsky, the former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard or the professor Sugata Mitra- points out that "schools will become networks" where students will interact with each other and with the teacher in a "collaborative learning" way. One newspaper had asked several Spanish experts regarding the issues addressed by the study, adapted to the reality of our country, as well as other changes in schedules, relationships among students, teacher hierarchy, new subjects, homework or the design of the classroom:
Seven out of 10 respondents think that the role of teachers will be to guide the student through his/her own path of knowledge. They will be facilitators and guides, rather than transmitters of knowledge. Until very recently, they were the only source of information available, but the internet has grabbed everything and students can find a good part of what is explained in class on the Web. In fact, 43% of those surveyed argue that the content on-line will be the main source of knowledge in 2030, even above colleges (29%), the student environment (13%) or cultural institutions (3%). "The role of teachers will be even more relevant. They will have to show students that they have to be critical with the information, that not everything they find on the internet is correct, that they must select and go to the most reliable sources ", says Ismael Sanz, Director of National Institute of Educational Evaluation, Acting Ministry of Education. Sanz believes that methodologies such as the Flipped classroom, which consists of the young learners preparing their classes and making an exhibition in the classroom, while the teacher carries out the task of accompanying them. "This system will allow part of the work to be done at home and each student will follow his/her own pace". "The formal class seems obsolete. It does not make sense to do a roll call of 250 students who cannot intervene if they can be given something recorded. But, on the other hand, much of this could be already done and this has not happened. Maybe there is something that we do not understand well ", reflects Antonio Cabrales, Professor of Economics at the University College London and member of the Foundation of Applied Economics Studies (FEDEA).
The student profile will change over the next fifteen years. It will be "a student with much more possibilities of access to sources of knowledge, with a more universal and less localist mentality, indisputable protagonist of his/her learning, a global citizen who seeks through learning, a way to respond to some need in the environment." as defined by Núria Miró, Director of Montserrat school in Barcelona and one of the 15,000 experts who are part of Wise. 83% of respondents believe that the curriculum will have more personalized content tailored to each student. This will have consequences on the hierarchical relationship with the teacher. "The line that separates who teaches and who learns is clearly blurred," Miró says. César García, a Washington State Public University teacher, adds that students will be "more demanding" in terms of their educational expectations. "The student becomes a client: he/she invests money and expects a return. The teachers will have to explain much better how they grade. " Will the schedules also change? Spanish experts agree that the border between school and home will blur and learning will not be restricted to a few hours and specific places. "E-mail and other communication tools are spreading a great deal. Now the teachers already have many conversations with the students at 10:00 PM. That there is class from 10 to 11:50, I do not know if it will continue, "says Garcia. "I see more courses on-line, and during off-hours. More students will have to work and be unable to go during normal hours. We will see schools that teach in summer and on weekends. " Will there be homework? "In some sense, if there is a change, it will be that almost everything is homework," Cabrales replies. The schedule will be freer and there will be more individual tasks. "More than homework, it is necessary to raise students' awareness of the need to continue searching for documentation, to inform themselves, share knowledge and awaken their taste for research", adds Miró. All this will undoubtedly affect the personal relationships between students. In García's opinion, "the concept of gang is over and children are now lonelier than before." "Twenty years ago, kids spent more time on the street, without too much supervision. Now their social life is more limited, more at home, connected on-line, and they have a schedule. Their parents take them 5:00 p.m. to Chess, At 6:00 p.m. English... That is why I believe that social relations are going to be costlier in the school of the future ".
76% of respondents believe that personal or practical skills will be more valued than academic knowledge. Abilities, referred to as Soft skills -like the ability to speak in public, to work as a team, to adapt to the unforeseen...- are increasingly important in the professional environment, but the Spanish experts agree that, alone, they do not provide good academic preparation. "Learning to learn is fine, but first you have to know Mathematics, Science or History. What serves us is knowledge, because we do not learn outside of it," says Carmen Rodríguez, teacher of Didactics and School Organization of the Malaga University. "It is said that this is the best prepared generation, but the Spanish university students do not know what Baroque is and have never read Cervantes. If we want to train technocrats, skills will prevail and knowledge will be reduced," says Felipe de Vicente, President of the National Association of University Professors (ANCABA). Francisco López Rupérez, President of the State School Council, believes that, when evaluating, and even in the workplace, professional certifications are increasingly valued. "These will not replace academic qualifications, particularly those issued by prestigious university institutions".
90% of the respondents believe that, in this new scenario, learning will be developed throughout the student's life and will not be limited only to the compulsory training phase (between 6 and 16 years) and the University. This does not mean that education will be free. On the contrary: 70% think that the public administration will stop being the main source of funding. Here the experts disagree with the survey and recall that Spain is already above the average of the OECD in the percentage of private education. "Public education has a key role in equal opportunities. I do not understand that it will disappear in any case," says Ismael Sanz.
The Wise survey does not ask about this, but the Spanish experts that were consulted agreed that the design of the classrooms will change a lot in the next years. "Architecture also educates," recalls Núria Miró, director of the Montserrat school in Barcelona, one of the first in Spain to put open-plan classrooms surrounded by small offices that the students occupy to work in small groups. Tables and chairs have wheels to roll from side to side. César García, a professor at Washington State Public University, points out that "it no longer makes sense to have a computer room with computers, but to occupy a comfortable space with many plugs to charge tablets and install good WIFI". Everything indicates that much of the work will be developed between the student and the internet, and in this sense, the large databases - the so-called Big Data-will be a "very useful" tools for the students, according to the opinion of the majority of those consulted for the Wise survey. Of course, "it is essential that new generations learn in the classroom how to interpret and manipulate the data," Miró recalls. Advantages? "Developing computational thinking and teaching programming can be done in the work process of a project in which, at the same time, you are learning Literature, History or Chemistry'. Some of the Spanish experts predict that new subjects will arrive to make sense of all this through Programming and Web Designs that the Madrid Community has implemented. 46% of respondents believe that there will be a global language for education - English - compared to 35% who think that they will follow the vernacular or national language and 19% that predicts that students will learn in their regional language. Francisco López Rupérez, president of the State School Council, maintains that the mother tongue "will continue to play a relevant role as a vehicle for learning; That is, in an increasingly multilingual school context, where English will be established as a new Lingua franca'. "I very much doubt that it generalizes," objected Antonio Cabrales of FEDEA. "There will possibly be a world elite who will have sufficient knowledge of English, but for a family with a lower level of educational level has to pay a higher cost." "In Spain, with the barriers in recruitment, how are we going to attract teachers who can teach all classes in English?" asks César García.