Asimov Predicted the State of Education in 2019. Was He Right?

Mikel Amigot | IBL News

“AI, Machine Learning, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Adaptive Learning, Big Data, and so on, and so.”

This is how Jeffrey Riman, Professor at FIT and Chair of the Faculty Advisory Council on Teaching and Technology (FACT2) at SUNY, summarized the technology issues dominating the conversation in higher ed during the 2019 CIT Conference.

“Among the many challenges for faculty and instructional support staff are increased complexity and steeper learning curves, greater time commitment, and outsourced content creation and assessment strategies. Course size will continue to grow, and the pace of change is accelerating,” said Jeffrey Riman [in the picture].

“And one thing we know: history is not a predictor of future performance,” he added.

Funny reference to history. Let’s go back four decades.

On December 31, 1983, esteemed scholar and best-selling sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov predicted how the world would be in 2019.

He wrote: “Education, which must be revolutionized in the new world, will be revolutionized by the very agency that requires the revolution – the computer…”

“There will be an opportunity finally for every youngster, and indeed, every person, to learn, in his or her own time, at his or own speed, in his or her own way…”

“Education will become fun because it will bubble up from within and not be forced in from without.”

Does anyone dare to predict how education will be in 2065?

Asimov the genius did envision the impact of the computer and the connected network, as well as the potential of on-demand learning at scale.

For a fully universal, personalized, adapted and fun education, we might need to wait a little longer.

But foundations are building up.