2020 Vision (revisited)

2020 VisionSince it’s now 2020, I thought it would be fun to revisit Karl Fisch’s video from 2006, titled 2020 Vision. In that video, Karl imagines he is the commencement speaker for the Arapahoe High School (AHS) Class of 2020, reflecting back on the past 13 years of schooling for that cohort.

In the video, Karl envisioned a number of possibilities:

  • AHS launches a 21st century learning initiative that is focused on preparing learners, workers, and successful contributors to the global community.
  • Google buys Logitech and a whole host of media companies and university lectures. AHS eventually buys a ceiling-mounted ‘GCam’ for every classroom, which captures video, sound (through an area microphone), and screen capture into unified ‘GCasts’ that can be uploaded to the AHS Learning Management System, which also contains RSS feeds, blogs, and Google Docs-like environments for every course.
  • AHS launches its ‘Warrior Portal,’ which eliminates grades and transcripts, allows for more-personalized learning pathways, and creates academic/work portfolios for every student.
  • AHS students each have their own laptop and routinely engage in tele-learning with 10 sister schools all around the world.
  • Google buys Ford, Apple, and AMD, allowing it to make breakthroughs in solar energy, battery technology, and quantum computing. ‘Google Panels’ replace 2/3 of worldwide energy production. ‘GCars’ travel 1,200 miles on a single charge and are essentially free transportation for homes with Google shingles or roof panels. The GCars also are WiFi access points, creating massive nationwide mesh networks. Google makes the first quantum laptops available for an inexpensive subscription to ‘Google Premium,’ which allows free learning (and shopping) for every laptop owner. 
  • AHS and Arapahoe Community College merge to become Arapahoe Community School (ACS), a partnership that results in every student graduating with a minimum of 2 years of college credit.
  • ‘Google U’ launches, incorporating elements of Google Premium, GCasts, university/library materials, Internet resources, and classroom tools, allowing ACS to dump its own courses and create true individualized pathways for students that allow them to both master essential learnings (competency-based education) and engage in passion-based learning projects.
  • By 2020, Google has created an eyeMAGINE computer that projects a 56-inch screen onto users’ retinas, global energy consumption has actually decreased, and ACS has grown to over 20,000 students, all of whom are empowered to “Change the World” (which has been the AHS / ACS motto throughout).

It was fascinating to see some of Karl’s projections from 2006. Today we see a number of dual enrollment programs, for example, and secondary students in P-Tech programs, the Bard Early Colleges, and other initiatives are graduating with college credits. We also have seen some progress related to retinal projection systems, electric cars, solar energy, battery technologies, quantum computing, and other fronts. Many states and school systems are implementing competency-based education (CBE) frameworks and project- / inquiry-based learning initiatives, and 1:1 computing is increasingly prevalent in our elementary and secondary schools.

Today we also see greater skepticism toward Google than many of us had back in 2006. We are not as far along as we could be on the solar energy and electric vehicle fronts, which speaks to both societal inertia and entrenched resistance from companies, politicians, and other major economic actors. AHS is still AHS and, like most other schools, is still trying to figure out its place in a global innovation society. And, as Audrey Watters just reminded us, we have hundreds and maybe thousands of educational initiatives that occupy the graveyard of bad ideas and poor implementation.

What visions for learning from earlier in this century still resonate with you? What progress have we seen (or not)?

2 Responses to “2020 Vision (revisited)”

  1. Thanks Scott. I may (or may not) post my own look back at this when we get to graduation in May. For now, I do want to reiterate that these weren’t actual “predictions”:

    “So, the presentation includes some “predictions” about technology, and some “predictions” about changes in my school, as I speak at the graduation for the class of 2020 (hey, it’s my future, I can pretend can’t I?) – who will be starting Kindergarten next fall. But let me be clear that I am not predicting that these things will actually occur. While I think they are generally plausible, things are changing so quickly that it’s next to impossible (for me, anyway) to predict with any kind of accuracy. And I think this is a case of where the truth will end up being stranger than fiction. Let me also be clear that this “future” is not necessarily what I would like to see happen, although there are pieces of it that I would certainly be in favor of. The goal is not to debate the plausibility of any specific predictions, but to envision a time in the not-too-distant future when the world is significantly different – and hopefully schools are as well. Then, based on what that could look like, what should we be doing now to help prepare for and transition to that future. Hopefully this “2020 Vision” will help get those conversations started.”

    Having said that…. Dude! You left out my most amazing prediction. I predicted there would be a President Obama in November of 2006, three months before he even entered the race and, of course, no one thought he would ever get the nomination, much less get elected. Admittedly, if you pay close attention, I had him as President in 2018 (because I was assuming he would first get elected in 2016), but I still think that’s worth a couple of Nostradamus points… 🙂

  2. Karl – you totally get Nostradamus points for that! As I was listening to your video tonight, I kept having to remind myself that you created this in 2006. And then when you mentioned President Obama, I had to stop the video, rewind, and play it back to others in the roomI.

    I usually ask the grad students in my Technology and Leadership class to create a vision artifact mid semester. I’m thinking that we are going to kick off the class next week, with your video and Scott’s blog post referencing it. Thank you!

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