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As our societies evolve, so do our education systems. What does the future of education look like? Let’s explore emerging trends that will become “the new normal.”

Healthcare and education have not experienced much disruption in the past fifty years. Part of the reason the disruption is happening is that the systems we had in place were not adaptable, as we have been educating people the same way for over 100 years. These infrastructures and facilities may not be adaptable to new circumstances, such as online education. There will also be changes in exactly what type of education will be needed in the coming years. This is a sea change and hopefully something the education world does not have to deal with ever again, but a big vulnerability has been exposed through COVID-19.

If you look at any school from primary to higher ed, there are buildings, parking lots, offices, and many more facilities that come with a high cost. When moving to online education, none of these things are needed anymore. Some people argue that higher education has been ripe for change for a long time now, and COVID-19 only forced that change. So what exactly can we expect from higher education going forward?

Roles will change. For example, a teacher’s assistant (TA) has a very different role when the class takes place virtually. Teaching assistants have evolved in many classrooms, with TAs tasked with monitoring chat threads during class, answering questions submitted by students, and providing real-time feedback to the instructor if something needs to be clarified. 

Personalization of education will also become the “new normal” in and beyond 2021. With this explosion of content available virtually, students have more of an opportunity to pick and choose exactly the classes they want to take. For example, maybe an 8 am class wasn’t feasible when a student had a commute, so they could not schedule a certain science class that took place at that time. Now, all of that is out the door.

Lastly, look for technology to become even more incorporated in the world of higher education. With so many students now learning remotely, it only makes sense that teachers and students alike will need to adapt to new technologies.