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Friday, November 3, 2017

24/7 Access to Profoundly Change Ed Model

“The digitization of society is inevitable,” physicist, futurist, and author Michio Kaku said in his opening keynote address at the 2017 Educause Annual Conference this week in Philadelphia, PA. He foresees a future in which digital connection will be so ubiquitous that it will vanish from our awareness, just as we take electricity for granted today.

“We won’t use the word ‘computer’ anymore,” said the professor of theoretical physics at the City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center. “We don’t say the word ‘electricity’ anymore, and yet electricity is everywhere and nowhere. That is the fate of the computer.”

Advances in virtual and augmented reality will blur distinctions between the physical and digital worlds. “In the future, you will blink and be online,” Kaku predicted. Humans will be able to essentially live and work at will in a cyber-environment. That shift will drive fundamental changes to education at all levels.

Kaku said such instant, seamless access to information will mean that instructors can emphasize concepts and principles, reducing the need to memorize facts and dates since such details will be immediately available in cyberspace.

Working in tandem with “robo-professors” powered by artificial intelligence, educators will transition to a role that involves more counseling and guidance to help students stay in school and succeed. “Professors will gradually change more and more into mentors,” Kaku said. “Mentoring cannot be done by a robot.”

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