This is the second of a 12-part series based off of Wired Magazine’s Kevin Kelly’s 1997 article “New Rules for the New Economy” on my predictions for what education will look like in the next 100 years. My first prediction was The Integration of Personal and Professional Education Tools

The point of my predictions isn’t to be “right,” per se, in the way a weather report strives to be accurate. Instead, I strive to be thought-provoking in the way a concept car at an auto show demonstrates what manufacturers imagine the future of automobiles might look like, even if they don’t plan on releasing that specific concept car.

My next prediction is Freemium Schooling using the Follow the Free framework. The idea is to look at where people are voluntarily choosing to spend their discretionary resources (time or money) and use that as a predictor of where people will be willing to spend those same resources in the future. 

Freemium Schooling

Framework: Follow the Free

There are a wealth of free resources available for teachers and parents online. This is a wonderful thing. The problem is that it takes people’s time and energy to make those resources and they need to find a way to make money without alienating their users. A popular solution to this problem is the freemium model, where a basic version of the resource is available for free and users can pay a fee to unlock additional features.

There is a similar tension in schooling. Public elementary and secondary schools are free, yet there exists an unspoken financial gap that is often filled in by teachers and parents. As the grammar of schooling begins to change (moving away from 30 students in a class sitting in individual desks facing forward toward one teacher at the front of the room for 60-minute blocks), so will the ways it is financed. The freemium model will not be ubiquitous, as it is opposition to the idea that public school is supposed to be without cost, I believe there will be smaller or more adventurous districts who will experiment with the idea of offering tiered services.

List of Predictions

Frameworks for Upcoming Blog Posts:

  • New Slang
  • Look for White Spaces
  • Unthinkables
  • Scenarios 
  • The Reverse Time Machine
  • Listen to Technology 
  • Repeatable Patterns 
  • S-Curves, Commoditization, and Pivoting
  • Second-Order Effects
  • Generalization

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