Is the Teacher Still the Killer app in the Future of Learning?

A few decades from now how will teaching look like? How will schools be organized and what about learning materials?

I strongly believe that if personalised learning is the future for K-12 schools publishers will go through an important transformation from one size fits all to offering solutions for teachers to tune the learning materials to the needs of their pupils. I wrote another article on that thought in this article Could this be the school of the future.

Technology is without any doubt a prerequisite to achieve personalised and accelerated learning as well as the enabler.

Devices unknown today will assist the teacher and the learner along their way. The publisher has automated parts of the developing processes of learning materials and facilitates the teacher in his choice of materials.

Publishers will run their business with a smaller number of employees due to the need for automatisation. Print will be a small part of their revenue as the teacher wants learning materials that he can adapt for his pupils and digital is the only way to achieve that.

In his blog  John Martin stated that in education the teacher is the killer app. I agree but in my opinion teachers will become the owner of the eco learning system which is different, more demanding but much more efficient than the actual situation.

Teachers now are mostly ‘followers’ of the method in the way they are composed by the publishers.

Although the offerings contain differentiation, media, tests and remediation they’re still aimed at a class group as such because schools and classes are organized in the outdated way.

The 21st century skills will demand another approach to learning in general. The 4 C’s are part of these skills.

See the extensive definitions here.

They are part of the bigger picture presented by the World Economic Forum.

21st Century Skills, (c) World Economic Forum

Teacher training will need to upgrade big time as it isn’t ready to train young and motivated people to become owners of the eco system and fully ready for personalized, accelerated and brain learning.

Teacher training will need to level up and policymakers will need to be replaced by people who actually know all about teaching in this new era and especially have actually taught (Rik Torfs).

Lifelong learning will be also the case for anyone who’s teaching. This means that the department of education needs to provide the necessary means to achieve this.

So I welcome the ‘new’ teacher as the main player in the eco learning system. He will exceed himself as the ‘killer app’ and deliver future oriented pupils ready to tackle problems that don’t even exist with tools that aren’t invented yet.


Karel Overlaet is a family man, Senior Business Development Manager, creator of bingel (European market leading e-learning platform), owner of Medianaut, chairman Varen voor Autisme vzw (npo), nautical journalist and photographer, passionate about RIBs. – Berchem – Belgium

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