Living longer is changing almost every aspect of life from the age of our parents when we are born through to the number of generations we can expect to meet before we die (the current record is six). There is one area is set to change more than most – education.

Today we see how, in little over five years, progressive schools have embraced tablet technology and re-modelled the way children learn around it. But that is only the start.

In parallel with the technology is the drive to independent learning – a move away from spoon-fed solutions to teaching the next generation how to find answers. Why is this so important? Living longer inevitably means working longer and today’s school leavers face the very real prospect of a 70 year working life before ‘retirement’. During that time they can expect a number of different careers and the need to ‘re-invent’ themselves several times over. Long gone are the days of a ‘career for life’.

Schools too are likely to change. Part of the re-invention process may include classroom time later in life. The legal profession is one that has been progressive in opening itself up to mid career recruits. At the moment it Law colleges provide the venue for educating these mature students but as demand for mid-career training across all employment increases the emphasis may well shift to schools who are better equipped to cope.

Another change likely is the ‘internationalisation’ of schools. Already we see mass on line learning courses being followed by thousands of tertiary level students. With schools moving their learning material on-line the next step is to stand our teachers in front of a web-cam.

At present about 50% of the world’s population has internet access. With the global technology industry producing over one billion web enabled devices each year it won’t be long until anyone can access any web information they want.

If the lessons are out there and our children have been taught how to access them it won’t be long until we truly have education for all.

Written by John Small

John’s business career started in the technology sector working with ICL and Fujitsu before moving to International Finance where organisational change and development has been a constant theme.