Forget Everything You Know About The Classroom: 2015 In Education

Flipped courses, collaborative learning, credit hours, and everything else shaking up how our children learn.

Education used to be straightforward. Students sat in rooms facing a board and tried to keep up with whatever the teacher was saying. These days, education is far more varied in its approach. We’re seeing flipped courses, where lecture time and homework elements are reversed. We’re seeing collaborative learning, where students learn as much from each other as from teachers. And, we’re seeing lots of distance learning, where students may never meet teachers at all.


The need to change education is particularly acute in the developing world , where there are millions of people to teach and not nearly enough trained teachers and traditional schools. There are lots of changes happening closer to home as well. People want to move away from time-based courses (credit hours) in favor of competency tests that allow industrious students to move ahead faster. They want to redesign classrooms so they’re more conducive to learning. And they want to change the way college is funded, so higher education is more equal-access and not so damned expensive.

A lot of things in education are up for grabs and subject to change–even what colleges offer the highest paying jobs.

1. Forget Harvard: Here’s Where To Go To College If You Want A High-Paying Job
Prestige isn’t everything.


2. This Clever Packaging Turns Waste Into Educational Toys
With a new design concept, old soda bottles become stackable blocks, toy trucks, and other useful educational tools.

3. Ways Classroom Design Can Improve What We Learn And Who Learns It
It’s not only people who can be exclusionary. So can the decor.

4. Why The Most Radical Innovations In Education Will Be In The Developing World
Instead of being weighed down with centuries of conflicting dogma, countries without entrenched education systems could actually find better ways to teach our children.


5. Credit For Actually Learning—Not Time In Class—Is Shaking Up Higher Education
Competency-based learning is the new hot trend, but no one is quite sure how to replace the credit hour.

6. Is Education Technology Where Women Are Starting To Buck The Tech World’s Sexist Trends?
The number of women founders and executives at startups is dismal. But at ed-tech incubators, the numbers are starting to improve.

7. It’s Time To Let Teenagers Sleep The Way They Want—And Start School Later
Teenagers physically can’t wake up early, and chronic sleep deprivation could be having an effect on their academics and well-being. There’s a very simple solution.

Michael Korfhage for Fast Company

8. Ideas For Making College More Accessible For Everyone
A degree is more important than ever, but fewer and fewer people can afford it. How can that change?

9. This Little Handwriting Robot Helps Kids Learn By Letting Them Be Teachers
How to give a kid confidence in their abilities? Let them teach a bot that’s worse than them.



About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.