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What If We Plan Our Future? 
 Chapter 9

 Smarter Minds Will
Save This World
Advancements in Education

For the first time in human history, we possess the ingenuity and technology to solve all the world’s most serious problems. We will no longer let the future happen to us. This generation and beyond will specifically plan and work diligently to achieve a great future for our children and their children. Here’s how: Our educational system will be so dramatically changed and improved by 2060 that we will create a small army of mini-Einsteins and tens of millions of very intelligent scientists, doctors, and technicians. We can solve today’s problems of overpopulation, war, disease, poverty, political instability, and environmental decay and save 10s of millions of innocent souls in this process.

TEACHING WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW

Major Prediction No. 8: Educational methods will be enhanced to the point that future generations will include millions of multi-Ph.D. holders capable of analyzing and solving the world’s most imposing challenges.

Today, education in this country rivals the seventh level of Hell in Dante’s Inferno. Although we have entered a new millennium, we are still using educational methods developed in the 1800s to teach our kids. Education today calls for pouring generic lesson plans into students' heads at the pace that the slowest student in the class can handle and then hoping they pick it up. This is in contrast to the more efficient method of first determining what an individual student knows. And doesn't know, and then teaching him or her what they don't know in an efficient and interesting way.

Fortunately, all this will change within the next two decades:

2035
Computers will become so sophisticated by 2035 that these machines will be able to determine through tests and by categorizing all the student's school work exactly what a student has learned and has YET to grasp. The teacher and the computer will then work together to formulate an individualized lesson plan for EACH student. Students will then take these computer-based lessons while progressing through the coursework at their own pace.

The logistics of maintaining databanks that tabulate each student’s specific level of knowledge on every school subject and then designing the next, individualized lesson for that student is of elephantine proportions. But the future computer of 2035 can do it. Of course, human interaction is essential and teachers will help students who do not understand a particular lesson. We’re not inhuman.

Some students will fail in this system – as many do in today’s archaic system. But a significant number of students will flourish when pushed to learn at such an accelerated rate. Consequently, with these future great minds, we will be in far better shape to solve this world's devastating problems of overpopulation, poverty, war, ruthless dictatorships, economic malaise, and environmental degradation.

LEARNING IS FUN

WITH MULTI-DIMENSIONALS

Prediction No. 48: Multi-Dimensional technology will play a key role in making education enjoyable for our sons and daughters by the 2030s.

Multi-dimensional technology is the projection of holographic images that surround the viewer. It is like being in the middle of all the action. This technology should be available within 15 years. This method will be a far more exciting way to learn than reviewing a textbook.

Imagine history lessons where students are "actually" there: World War I was the war to end all wars - or so they thought. But what if little Shannon of 2030, who thought that World War I was a battle in the Year 1 between the Greeks and the Romans, was "placed" in the trenches at the height of the Battle of Verdun?

Thanks to multi-dimensional projections, exploding artillery shells, blasting machine guns and flying double-decker planes would harmlessly astound her. Not only would Shannon learn about the futility of war, holographic images of leaders of that era would visit Shannon between battles to explain why the lack of communication between warring parties, intense nationalism, senseless treaties and a lack of reasonable foresight led to the deaths of millions and laid the groundwork for World War II.

2030

Imagine a social studies lesson where your grandson Dexter, who knows little about India, "visits" a bustling New Delhi street. Dexter will be able to talk to colorful holographic images (transported from India) of Indian citizens to ask about the city's culture, customs and charms (computers of that time will immediately translate the Hindi dialect into English or any other language). He'll be able to view New Delhi's sidewalk vendors, the games children play and their modes of transportation. Certainly "being there" makes social studies easier to understand.

Again, the key here is teaching what the student doesn't know instead of wasting their time reteaching what they already know. Mutli-dimensionals combined with computer analysis of the student’s work will help achieve this goal.

TEENAGERS AND GRANDPARENTS

WITH MULTIPLE Ph.D.s

Prediction No. 49: By 2025, millions of teenage to adult students will acquire their bachelor degrees to doctorate degrees via the Internet without EVER stepping foot into a classroom.

On-line education will “blow our minds” on a much grander scale by 2025 and beyond. An important step to achieve this advancement will come when computers become so sophisticated that they will be able to grade term papers without a teacher reviewing it. Eventually, computers will go far beyond spell and grammar checking and be able to accurately evaluate doctorial dissertations. Yes, computers will become that good.

Thanks to The Mega-Computer Age of the early 21st Century, by the 2030s anyone from senior citizens, to stay-at-home parents, to teenagers, to prison inmates, will be able to attain an advanced education or even 2, 3 or 4 graduate degrees. These multi-degreed academics WILL make magnificent discoveries in such fields as biotechnology, nanotechnology, environmental reclaimation and food production. And it's not hard to imagine how much better off our world would be if every member of this society was committed to life-long learning.

Little Boy: “My daddy has 3 Ph.D.s!”  Little Girl: “Well, my mommy has 4 Ph.D.s!” Even kids as young as 14 and 15 will earn Ph.D.s while attending high school. A bold prediction but expect this by the 2030s. Kids will still need to attend school to gain "the social skills" – for example: Little Boy: “Why don’t you shut up!” Little Girl: “Why don’t you shut up harder!” Artwork by Alessandra Andrisani

THE NATIONAL HOMEWORK CHANNEL

Prediction No. 50: A National Hemework Channel will be created within the next 10 years.

The National Homework Channel will play a key role in making this generation better educated than the previous generation. With cable and satellite TV capable of giving us 100s of channels, why can't a handful of homework channels be offered (kindergarten through 12th grade)?

2025

As The National Homework Channel becomes more and more sophisticated, teachers will assign homework that matches that evening's programs. Parents can also learn by watching with their children. Undoubtedly these channels will give parents a greater opportunity to assist their children in the educational process. Certainly history assignments can be interesting to all. And lessons in math may be helpful to the parent as well.

And in keeping up with educational advances predicted earlier in this chapter, students will be able to order any lesson at any time on their TV or computer. Fortunately, for those who love to learn, 100s of thousands of lessons will be available on-line or the TV within 15 years.

THE WORLD GETS SMALLER

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION

Prediction No. 51: International Education will teach valuable lessons to listeners throughout the world in the very near future.

2025+

Thanks to the Internet, satellite television and radio, educational lessons will be broadcast by the United Nations, the United States and international organizations throughout the world in the early 21st Century. Lessons, for example, will inform farmers how to produce more crops, teach youngsters the benefits of preserving the environment, and advocate the importance of population education. These lessons will be sent in the listeners' native language. 

Message via satellite: "The best way to prevent cholera is to make sure the drinking water is pure." The world is more connected today than it ever has been. So an organized and more concentrated effort to educate can, for example, teach people how to prevent disease, teach couples better prenatal care, and teach youngsters the benefits of freedom and democracy. We will see quite a bit of "knowledge transfer" in the 2020s and 2030s. Thus, International Education will save many lives in the 21st Century.

OUR EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM

EARNS AN F-

Analysis: Education in this country has become a first-class nightmare. We teach at the pace that the slowest student in the class can handle thus robbing from the minds of students who want to learn. We have excessively high dropout rates in many inner city high schools. And most high school graduation tests are so simple that a conscientious 8th grader can pass them.

We have many school districts deeply in debt, we have too many poorly trained teachers who can’t teach, and far too many over-paid administrators who try to re-invent the wheel every year (math, history and English do not change that much every year).

On the home front, we have parents who have no clue of their responsibility when they bring a child into this world. Good parents inspire and support their children all the way through college. Simply, we have too many parents who have no interest in their kid’s education and can’t be bothered to check their kid’s homework.

Perhaps the most frustrating force working against a more civilized society includes the many students who have rationalized that education is a waste of time. Of course rebellious teenagers have been a problem since the dawn of humanity but we have to get our society to change its attitudes about learning. In short, we have to convince these kids that it’s not us against them – that education is their key for a better future.

Fortunately, the Little Red School House is about to close. If we institute these educational changes, we can spark an exciting education reform that will lead to a society able to mitigate all of the horrible problems that currently plague us.


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