As part of the TeachThought January Blog Challenge today’s prompt is:

What changes do you envision in the next ten years?

In ten years I will be in my 28th year of education. Woah.
That is enough to make me catch my breath;
additionally my oldest will be considering life after high school
and my youngest will be considering high school.
Double Woah.

Public school will still be here, but there will be versions of each school: an online version, a hybrid/blended version, and a face-to-face version. Attendance will not occur on weekdays between 8AM-4PM, but until the work is done well enough for the student to progress.

Why do I think schools will offer a variety of modes for students to learn?
The gaps between state or local fully online schools/course and traditional schools is narrowing. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning, iNACOL, lists 29 states plus DC offering full-time online schools in the 2014 school year. Currently the clients of online classes are increasingly of a mainstreamed variety, this will increase the acceptance and exposure to the general population. The rate of change over the past five years alone suggests that the change in the coming ten years will be rapid and revolutionary. Expect to see schools offering increasing variety in the mode of delivery of content to students.

Why do I think attendance will not be the matriculation indicator it was for us?
The existence of online classes pave the way for current and future legislators to use those programs as models to improve upon. And when you consider what politicians care about, legislators have an interest to improve levels of achievement, but also to trim costs. With the examples of these expanding online programs more savings in traditional spending areas are likely to be demonstrated. Potential savings could be in some of the most expensive areas of education: special education/response to intervention, pooling English language learners/speciality classes, and cutting facilities spending. 

Why do I think promotion will be replaced by a competency-based framework?
Technology is moving toward features which can measure individual’s progress on standards at a predetermined level. With open, predictable measurements it will no longer be the sole burden of each classroom teacher to differentiate, and those outside that classroom to guess as to the methods and their efficacy. As the cost comes down on these tools, some publish tools without cost to education, and lawmakers start to realign requirements competency and not attendance will be the expected minimum. This should result in more thoroughly educated students and possibly earlier graduations.

Wow, ten years from now.