What Does the Future of Education Look Like?

Author: Lumination

Date: 20th Apr 2023

Using these 5 key themes, here’s how we can get there

It’s time to ask the hard questions. To examine the changing landscape of Australian education. As educators, we can influence the future of education and develop reliable pathways that can get us where we need to go.

To discover more about this, we spoke with some of Australia’s educational experts — people who are witnessing and shaping the development of this field firsthand. These experts gave us valuable insights, painting a picture of what we can — or should — expect the future of education to look like and what it’s going to take to ensure we stay on the right track.

We spoke to:

  • Louka Parry, CEO and Founder of The Learning Future
  • Nicole Dyson, Founder and CEO of Future Anything
  • Jayne Heath, Chief Executive of South Australian Secondary Principals’ Association (SASPA)
  • Alex Bruhn, Youth Community Builder at Youth Inc.
  • Luke Ritchie, Principal of St Andrew’s School Walkerville

Here are the 5 main themes:

1. Creating Enterprising Thinkers and Doers

For Nicole Dyson, the future of education is about equipping students with the kind of cognitive, proactive tools that support young people in whatever they choose to do. By focusing on students as creators and problem solvers rather than passive recipients of information, we are building a generation that is ready to meet the evolving challenges of the future workplace and our society as a whole.

Nicole Dyson — “I think the purpose of education is to build a generation of young people that are enterprising thinkers and doers. Enterprising by the nature of being marked with an independent, energetic spirit and a readiness to act. If we build a generation of young people that are creative and collaborative problem solvers, they’re going to be okay wherever they go.”

Australian education already has a good foundation in problem-solving. A survey from 2012 put Australian students in fourth place in the world for complex problem-solving skills, behind South Korea, Japan, and Canada. This represents a good starting point, but as the workplace continues to evolve with critical thinking a key skill, educational approaches must too.

2. Embracing Technology

As tech becomes an increasingly big part of life, it becomes an increasingly big part of education too — it has to. In fact, educators are finding that introducing smart devices into the learning experience, especially in language arts and literacy subjects, actively enhances the students’ ability to learn.

Alex Bruhn — “I have the utmost faith that the emerging technology and the tech that we have right now is going to help us to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. But the earlier we can get young people playing with and having exposure to this tech, the more likely we’re going to be able to really enhance life and quality of life for the human race.”

With 92% of educators supporting the use of digital technologies in the classroom, there’s no doubt we need to better incorporate technology into education. Immersive technologies like virtual and augmented reality are demonstrating their ability to enable improved learning outcomes. Not to mention, since this technology is already featuring in the workplace, its key current and future students build those skills now.

3. Making Real-World Connections

Luke Ritchie described the need for skill-based teaching, connecting education directly with real-world applications and the meaningful implementation of learning.

Luke Ritchie — “It’s that shift away from the traditional focus of just teaching content to enabling students to use the skills that are developing that need to be assessed. Then they get to use those skills in meaningful ways. So for me, that’s what the future of education is.”

Alex Bruhn was another expert who highlighted the need to make real-world application and implementation an inherent part of the future of education. Alex cited relevance and experience as crucial to modern education,  taking learning beyond the classroom’s traditional walls and boundaries.

Alex Bruhn — “It’s eradicating this learning in the four walls of a classroom. It’s real world, relevant education so that young people can understand when going through these experiences how they’re relevant to the world they’re inheriting.”

4. Practising Agility

For Louka Parry, there is a significant need for discussion and conversation on these topics. It’s this kind of discourse that is going to shape the future of education and help us arrive at the right solution for the youngest generation and for those to follow.

Louka Parry — “These conversations are critical because they shape awareness. How do we create a new meta narrative for education? But then it’s what action do we take? What’s the conversation you want to have? What’s the restructure or the prototype you want to test within your school that actually might start to break the old mental model and create the new one?”

Constant questioning, evaluation, and re-evaluation — this is going to be key to achieving the kind of agility and flexibility that education needs as it evolves. For Jayne Heath, this necessitates a complete rethink of our approaches to schooling. Jayne envisages a changing society and a system of education that is better suited to the needs of this new community.

Jayne Heath — “Certainly there are things happening in the world, in our society, that require us to rethink how we approach schooling. That means that the work of teachers and the work of educators and leaders needs to be rethought. We’re in the process of thinking about that. What is it that we really want to ensure we provide and support in our community and in our society. And so I think that’s a really important next step for us.”

5. Collaborating with Community and Industry

Speaking to our experts proved to be a fascinating experience — and also a challenging one. These conversations provided real insight into where we are going and what needs to happen next.

There were some interesting common threads, and our experts seemed to be largely on the same page. Interaction with the community and optimised engagement with real-world problem-solving, creative and critical thinking opportunities are going to be vital.

Bringing an end to the siloed nature of education was another common theme. By bounding education within the four walls of classrooms across the country, we are only fostering disparity among students. Disparity in education means disparity in opportunity, and disparity in opportunity means disparity in life. Education has to be opened up, extended beyond the classroom’s boundaries, and made available to all those who stand to benefit from it.

Where We Go From Here

All this is really encouraging for the team here at Lumination. Speaking to our expert panel, we found that our own views on the future of education were largely aligned with those of key industry figures.

The technological aspect is another encouraging factor for us. As an organisation operating within the educational tech and innovation space, we firmly believe in the power of immersive technology to support the learning objectives of students, both today and in the future.

What’s more, this technology — the deployment of our AR and VR solutions like Lumination Learning Labs and LeadMe in education institutions across Australia — is making high-quality learning accessible to all, breaking down the obstacles and challenges that have traditionally made education difficult.

At Lumination, we are creating solutions that foster empathy and understanding while also supporting real-world interactions, direct experience and active problem-solving capability.

The future of education is not guaranteed. It’s up to all of us to drive education in the right direction and achieve change on a profound scale. Talking to our experts makes us optimistic for the future and energised for the journey ahead of us.

Read one of our latest case studies on the Benefits of VR in Education with Adelaide Botanic High School, and stay up to date on the latest in immersive technology by subscribing to our newsletter.  

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