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Welcome to Visions of 2050

Educating Systems in 2050

by Roger Bourke White Jr., copyright April 2015

 

Introduction

Educating systems are going to undergo as much change as manufacturing and service systems. How things are taught will change and what will be taught will change. These changes will be adaptations to two big changes in what humans are experiencing in 2050:

o What is important for humans to know when living in the various TES environments.

o The ubiquitousness of information that is available via cyber systems such as the communications networks and cyber muses.

The overall result is that in 2050 education will be much more dynamic than what we experience in the 2010's. It is going to happen pretty much all the time, it will be mixed with a lot of entertainment, and mixed with a lot of cyber interaction. Attending an education event in a classroom will happen mostly so humans interested in the same topic can come together for some face-to-face and to participate in hands-on projects where many hands help the learning process.

What follows are some details on my speculations of what educating will be like in 2050.

The Ubiquitousness of Information

Even in the 2010's people are commenting on how much information is available compared to what previous generations had, how quickly it is available, and how easy it is to sort through it all. In business circles this is called Big Data. This trend is going to continue. By 2050 the communications systems between the human mind and the cyber communications networks are going to be more sophisticated than they are today, and cyber is going to have a lot more data available.

In science fiction there are many stories which have in them a direct brain-computer network link. I think that by 2050 we will be much closer, but, given how hard it is to define consciousness in the brain, there will still be limits -- the transition between information contained in the human brain and information in the cyber network will not be as transparent to the human thinker as the way information held in short-term and long-term memory in the brain feels to be.

But as this human-cyber link gets faster, easier, and covers more topics, it leads directly to the question: What should our children be learning as they are growing up? What should we be putting in the human side of this system? (in the human brain)

Something else to keep in mind is that there will be better and poorer ways to make this brain-network connection. There will be "necessity connectivity" -- which all humans of the community have access to -- and many kinds of "luxury connectivity" -- better connections that luxury money can buy. This too will relate strongly to education systems -- there will be necessity and luxury education systems as well. This difference will be fueled by instinct as well, the instinct that parents want the best for their children.

What gets covered in Necessity Education

The basic goal of necessity education is to put into a child's brain what is needed to function well as an adult in the community. Keep in mind that this community doesn't have humans working in Big Business occupations as we know them in the 2010's -- these big business jobs are being done by cyber. So, what will humans be doing? What will they need to learn to do these 2050's-era activities? And most important, what do they need to learn that will help them feel deeply enfranchised in their community so they don't cause a lot of waste or damage -- as in, "Cause trouble? Hell no! I've got a [whatever replaces job, house and family to make someone feel enfranchised] to do and take care of."

Social skills are going to be a big part of what gets taught. Entertainment skills are likely to be another big part. Because of the disconnect from Industrial Age necessity skills ("get a job" skills of the 2010's), lots of opinion and urban legend are going to be part of the education package as well.

How is it taught

With so much communication bandwidth available at such personal levels, having a human teacher stand in front of a white board and talk and show videos is going to be a real slow and limited way to learn. What will replace this system?

In place of showing videos, the teacher (cyber or human) can suggest communications channels for students to watch. And these can be suggested as homework activity. What will take place in class are hands-on projects of various sorts. Examples:

o STEM: form a team, research and design a part, have a 3D printer in the classroom make it, attach it and see how well it works.

o Entertainment: Do stage performances of various sorts. This will be much like performing arts of the 2010's, and the goals will be much the same.

o Civics/Community service: Researching how to support a cause. This will be mostly about building enfranchisement. This will be much like what is done in the 2010's.

[Note to self: What else can be hands-on? What will be hands-on in revolution/ruthless leader environments? XXXXX ]

What gets covered in Luxury Education

Luxury education is for going beyond the basics. Once again, the big issue is what will "beyond the basics" activities consist of for humans? Will they be mostly dilettante activities? If so, then the school courses will be about developing dilettante skills.

What will humans still be doing that is vital to humanity's progress? What will humans be involved in that makes the world a better place on the grand scale? (as versus small scale dilettante) [I don't know. XXXXX ] As these are identified, then learning them will be a different form of luxury education from dilettante educating.

How is it taught

Luxury teaching will be much more varied than necessity teaching for two reasons: first, the range of topics being taught will be wider, second, the parents will take pride in how their kids are being taught, which means some fashion instincts will come to play -- some of the teaching styles will be trendy.

Note: The Vol. 92 No. 13 of The Kiplinger Letter (Mar 2015) reports that homeschooling is on the rise and not just for religious reasons, and that homeschoolers are testing well, are self-starters, and have a strong work ethic. This indicates that homeschooling-style techniques are likely to be a large part of the education systems of 2050.

Teaching "Necessity kids"

As a large majority of humans come to live in prosperous urban environments, there won't be enough children born and raised to sustain the human population. Historically, this urban deficit has been made up for by immigrating people from poor, rural areas. But in 2050 there won't be any poor, rural humans, except for a handful of counter-culture humans who set up communes and deliberately live in poverty.

In response, the population can either decline, or other sources for creating and raising human children can be created. These other children will be "necessity children" and they will be raised in environments that are quite different from both TES necessity family environments and luxury family environments. The raising environment will be almost completely cyber-sustained.

These humans are likely to remain distinct from the other human populations. This will be the 2050's incarnation of "separate but equal", unless some sort of social justice instinct kicks in in a big way. With this in mind, how they will be taught will also be quite distinctive.

How teasing, pranks and playgrounds mix with ubiquitous surveillance

Ubiquitous surveillance is coming because it is so helpful in reducing many kinds of waste. One of the questions that flows from having ubiquitous surveillance is: How are "kids going to be kids" in this environment? How are they going to play on a playground, how are they going to tease each other, how are they going to pull pranks? These kinds of activities are part of socializing and growing up. Are they going to be tolerated, or are they going to be replaced with different kinds of activities which are "surveillance friendly"?

[At this point, I don't know. XXXXX ]

What practices will instinctive thinking continue to support?

Some things won't change because they are supported by insinctive thinking. Some examples of these are:

o Some kids will envy other kids for their material possessions. This means expensive items that can be worn or otherwise displayed will show up in school environments. Unless kids are trained otherwise, there will be excess and abuse surrounding these.

o Cosplay is fun. There will be a lot more of it happening in school environments.

o The struggle between teaching prescription and critical thinking will continue. Related: issues such as what are good science and good history facts (as versus pseudo science and propaganda) will continue. Instinctive thinking will favor teaching prescription and pseudo facts. Further related: How valuable will critical thinking be in the TES environment? When people are not affecting harsh reality, then critical thinking becomes an unpleasant luxury.

o In this world of fast and easy cyber linking, what is peer pressure going to be like? Who is the peer a child pays attention to? Is it other children, or the child's cyber muse?

Conclusion

Educating systems are going to be different in 2050. They will be shaped by changes in what is valuable for people to know, and by the fast and friendly linkages people have to the cyber network. What information should be put into a child's brain, and the social circumstances that the educating takes place in, will both be very different.

 

--The End--

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