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The future of Education .... post Covid-19

I had surmised four years ago that the future of education was clear to me, just that the path to get to this future wasn't clear then. The future I predicted was - and I quote: 

Take a leap into future, learning could be transitioning back to the heydays of Indian Gurukul system - just that these Gurukul's will be online. What will be known is not universities, colleges or degrees; what will be known is teachers and professors of repute (the Guru's) and the subjects they teach. Thanks to the ubiquitous nature of the Internet, Guru's could be running a course on several platforms or several courses on one platform. People will take courses from Guru's of repute to learn what they want to, not because they want a degree from the platform which they represent!

I believe the path to get to this future of education has been found and it runs through the Pandemic zone called Covid-19. Covid-19 is a warp zone which has accelerated the transition from the brick-and-mortar University education to take-your-class-online model. However, what we are seeing in the short term is the University (and school) classrooms getting transitioned to the Online classroom - this is more of a tactical than tectonic shift. But the longer Covid-19 pandemic continues, the more the tactical shift risks moving towards tectonic shifts.

I spoke to Engineering students about these trends few months back and a recording of my session can be viewed here:


Concepts such as Lambda School, WhiteHatJr along with the earlier MOOC platforms are going to use this 'tactical' shift to further their access to kids getting educated today. As students get used to getting educated online, they will also start realising the benefits and liberties of change of the medium. They will start exercising their choices and power will shift slowly from the Professor / Teacher into the hands of Students (and in some cases, parents). 

Education will see the unbundling effect, similar to the one Steve Jobs brought to Music with the iPod. Just like we no longer buy a full Music album, but only individual tracks, education will also no longer be in the current 'Industrial' model where you have to select a full degree - students will instead choose courses. Coincidentally, I again borrow from Steve Jobs - he mentioned about his dropping in on the Caligraphy courses during his 'dropout phase' at Stanford in his commencement speech. While it happened for Jobs by chance, it's going to happen to students today by choice - students will choose subjects to study instead of degrees they want to attain. I mention some practical cases of this happening around me in the video.

There are few other tectonic shifts this phenomenon will see, and I talk about them in the video - here's an enumerated list: 

XGetting Selected to the right college
Selecting the right subjects to study
XLecturer responsible for teaching
Students Responsible for learning
XLecturer / Curriculum paced learning
Student paced learning
XExam Scores given by known teachers from a known syllabus
Knowledge is evaluated by unknown employers for subjects of their choice

The essence of my talk is that power has shifted, but so has responsibility. During the industrial age, if we got into a good university, we automatically got great teachers/professors, a good education which led to future positive outcomes of having a good career and happy lives. But with the shifts in education now, the path has many a fork along the way - getting into a good university doesn't guarantee a great life - one must keep making the right choices; choice of subjects, choice of allocating time, choice of scoring on the right topics, choice of selecting the right career opportunities; in order to have a great life.

It's much more fun than the erstwhile world - there's so much more freedom, choice and so many more possibilities - and yet, the challenge is as great or maybe greater! 

Image Credits:


  1. Tectonic shift is .. PROFESSOR becomes DIGITAL ! That is the thing needed and due for centuries ! That is the only SOLUTION liberate education !


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