Is This The Future Of Education?

It seems to be part of the human condition that we are constantly looking to the future. From things a simple as “what’s happening this weekend” to “are we going to have flying cars in ten years”, wondering, imagining, and creating what our future will look like is so normal that it can often seem like it is just a part of our subconscious. 

In education, we’re always looking to the future. What can we improve? How can we change, add, or manage our toolkits to do exactly what we need? What skills will students need in the future, and how can we ensure we’re preparing them adequately? What technologies will they be using? The handy infographic below takes a look at the ‘education of tomorrow’. It showcases a few statistics on technology growth over the years along with an overview of what might be next for the future of education. What do you think the future of education holds? Specific tools? Different skills? Weigh in by leaving a comment below, mentioning @Edudemic on Twitter or leaving your thoughts on our Facebook page.

The Future of Education

  • 79% of Americans have a home computer today, compared with 8% in 1984
  • 3 x as many college students matriculated with a tablet in 2012 as in 2011!
  • 75% of American households have internet access today, compared with 18% in 1997
  • MOOCS and other types of online education are becoming more and more prevalent – in many different forms (free, paid, short and long courses, etc)
  • 90% of college students and high school seniors see tablets as valuable educational tools
  • 63% believe tablets will transform learning
  • 6 in 10 college students prefer books in digital format (for both class and pleasure reading)
  • 72% of students show improvement in class with regular access to technology
  • Eighth grade proficiency improved from 29% to 41% with regular access to technology

What’s Next?

  • MOOCs are expected to gain credibility
  • Augmented reality will play a larger role
  • A lessening focus on degrees and more focus on practical skills
  • Integrated touch screens at student desks and teacher workstations
  • Individual tablets for everyone


future education


  1. Dave Webb

    August 10, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    The only important statistic required in an article like this is the one that’s been (purposely, I assume) left out, which is the simple fact that very few students actually enjoy (or even feel they’ve learned much from) online courses. I teach at an institution that has a significant online ed presence (and is widely looked to as a model for online ed), and although I don’t have any quantitative stats for you, I can tell you that I’ve very seldom heard a student speak positively of their online ed experience, and NONE have said they prefer it to face-to-face.

    If online ed is “the future of education”, then education has a bleak future indeed.

    • Brian Bailey

      August 11, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Not true as I have been taking excellent online courses and find the program much more engaging than my traditional face to face undergrad degree. There are some excellent online courses and programs out there as well as some bad ones. Same is true for face to face. It’s all in the design and the capabilities of the instructor. The format is irrelevant.

    • Tena Heffernan

      August 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

      Simply not true. I know plenty of students who love online learning. I have earned multiple degrees online and I teach online. Through both experiences, I have had an opportunity meet a number of online students who love it.

    • Jason Webb

      August 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      The problem with a lot of online courses is that too often teachers/professors just digitize their information that they would normal give in a traditional lecture style course. To make it more “challenging”, they add a heap of extra assignments. They better ones that I have seen create a very interactive atmosphere with discussion boards, multimedia, live chats, ect. When we as educators take the leap and use technology to engage and not just disseminate, then the outcomes for online/distance learning will grow.

  2. Toni Chamberlain

    August 10, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    With all of technology’s advancements, what is the best way for an adult educator to stay current in their field? Is the death of the proprietary college on the horizon due to MOOC’s? Is the traditional brick and mortar educational institution a foregone conclusion?

    These questions are overwhelming. Someone must have the answers! Please share!

    • Brian Bailey

      August 11, 2014 at 9:13 am

      If you come across a river and you need a drink, do you drink the whole river? No – You only drink what you require to satisfy your needs. So it goes with technology.Educators have a responsibility (plus it’s FUN!)to be continuous learners when it comes to technology and education. You will never be able to keep up with technology because it is constantly changing but that doesn’t mean you won’t discover nuggets for your teaching along the way and your students will definately appreciate your efforts because a technologically illiterate teacher is irrelevant in many ways to the modern student. So get learning and don’t worry about what you don’t know.

      • Toni Chamberlain

        August 17, 2014 at 5:09 pm

        I appreciate your response and the metaphor.
        I may “borrow” it from time to time for my classroom!

        Thank you,

  3. Nancy

    August 12, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    No references, but lots of claims and assumptions made. I did not see anything of great value here, just cheerleading.

  4. Eric Saibel

    August 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    This is a great topic – in fact, we will be discussing this ALL next week on #SlowChatED and hope to have a robust, multi-perspective conversation on the future of education. Technology is one important component of that, however our chat will look to discuss the future educational landscape(s) as a whole. Please join us starting on Monday 8/18 – and read more about the chat here:

  5. gregir chudoba

    August 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

    So this is the ultimate goal of education (and of the beautifully designed Lenovo graphic above):
    “Preparing students to be productive members of the global workforce”.

    Somebody is confusing education with training; and life with industry.