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Education in Asia 2025: Future scenarios

How does the future of education look in Asia in 2025? What are the main drivers for change?  These were the questions, which a group of over 20 invited specialists on education, smart education and artificial intelligence discussed in a Future Watch workshop in February 2018 in Hong Kong. Workshop was organised by Business Finland, together with the Finnish National Board of Education, the Consulate General of Finland in Hong Kong and Agent of Change Ltd. The future scenarios presented in the attached slides are based on the thoughts uttered by this expert group during the workshop.

Technology is the main driver of change in education today and edutech was one of the workshops' hot topics. New edutech will change the role and responsibilities of teachers and change the ways students learn.

Towards personalised learning

One of the major changes that edutech will entail in the near future is the transition from differentiated to personalised learning. As it is known, there are different types of learners and various learning styles i.e. one size does not fit all when it comes to learning. Personalised learning is based on this notion and big data will enable teachers to know more about their students and their challenges.

Game-based learning and flipped classrooms

New technologies and devices will enable flipped classrooms and blended learning as well as the opportunity to learn in different places and at different times. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and mobile learning (mlearning) will allow students to learn through devices that are adapted to the their capabilities and personalised learning goals regardless of time and place. Flipped classrooms go well together with the previously mentioned notion of a need for more project-based learning as it allows students to e.g. complete different collaboration projects in "the field".

Teaching will be done in new innovative ways enabled by technology. Game-based learning (GBL), educational robotics and digital libraries are some examples of the new tools that will be utilised in order to enhance the learning experience.

Technology will also change the way our classrooms look. As the integration between physical and digital deepens, the classrooms will transform from what we are used to. The removal of the whiteboard is ongoing and the future classrooms might have e.g. interactive walls and instead of desks the students could have interactive devices through which they can submit their work on a Cloud account.

Soft skills

Besides edutech, the workshops participants also stressed the need to emphasise soft skills and skills that exclusively require human knowledge and face-to-face interaction in curricula. There is, of course, a constant need to update curricula but the current rapid development of technological innovations accentuate the need. Students should be taught skills that will enable them to succeed in an AI economy.

Soft skills consist of the competences and qualities that differentiate humans from AI and that will be of importance in an increasingly automated future. Such skills are e.g. problem solving, adaptability, critical thinking, creativity, leadership, interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence (EQ).

Further, the rapid technological development might lead to a need to teach students new things such as e.g. the medical care of robots. The technological advancement will also make the teaching of manual mathematics less relevant as this is something that computers will carry out in the near future. Instead, the human interpretation of data will gain prominence and the curricula should be altered accordingly.

Ethics and morals will also require more attention in education as the future demands humans to make deliberate decisions regarding for instance the programming of artificially intelligent robots.

Future business opportunities

  • The commodification and gamification of education and the increased use and demand for new technologies in education creates opportunities for edutech companies. Devices that support personalised learning will be in demand as well as apps and games that enable mobile learning (mlearning).
  • AI will be able to make the educational experience more efficient and engaging, both for teachers and students. Simultaneously, more expertise and solutions will be needed in this area, such as IoT and cloud-based services or AI-based tutoring solutions as well as customised online textbooks and other study materials.
  • Further, the increased use of online platforms and different applications in education raises concerns regarding online security and privacy. Teachers and parents will need some sort of supervisory tools in order to ensure the students safety online. Companies providing different cybersecurity -solutions might be able to find opportunities related to this. 

Interested in hearing more? Please contact:

Sari Arho Havren
+85 26 895 5221
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