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A highest education in the year 2049

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2 Author(s)
E. A. Lee ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., California Univ., Berkeley, CA, USA ; D. G. Messerschmitt

In his 1962 paper “A Day in the Life of a Student in 2012”, Ponte describes the university of 2012 through the eyes of a student. Such a paper may be written to predict the future, to influence changes, or simply to highlight shortcomings and opportunities in the present. His motivation seems to be prediction, so it is best to view the paper in that light. Ponte's prophecy still has over a decade to play out. One vision not yet true, but likely, is the obsolescence of the lecture hall-his Professor Faraway gives recorded, masterful lectures that are broadcast to students, who gather in teams of 30 around a task master. Indeed, the lecture hall does seem antiquated today-it may be replaced by a learning hall, where faculty and students gather physically to engage in a discussion and projects, supplemented by a multimedia textbook, which students use to self study. One-way lectures can be satisfactorily replaced by store and playback, with a substantial improvement in productivity, but what cannot be readily displaced is an intellectual give-and-take discussion among faculty and students, accompanied by friendship and community building. Thus, Ponte's task masters and closely knit group projects seem likely to arise together with multimedia study materials. We now offer a new essay in the spirit of his. Our objective is not so much prediction, but rather to speak to our own era, using a speculative view of the future to point out today's shortcomings and opportunities. Like Ponte, our essay reflects both our hopes and our fears for the future. Reflecting the greater pace of change today, this vision is a more radical departure than Ponte's. Fifty years from now, this essay will probably be only mildly amusing, since the details of our prediction are unlikely to reflect reality. A more realistic goal is to influence the course of education today

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 9 )