Elon University

A vision for the future

This is one of nearly a thousand foresight statements shared by people from around the world. To return to the Voices of the People home page or to refine your search, click here.

Name: Brian Mahoney

From: Wisconsin

Bio: Internet User, student in "Information Industry" seminar

Area of Expertise: Pioneer/Originator

Topic: Community/Culture

Headline: Customization of Education

Nutshell: The internet will tailor education to each individual student to maximize understanding and retention.


Over time, the “one machine” grows and begins to permeate every aspect of our lives. Education systems will be completely revolutionized. Methods of teaching and studying will be tailored to the individual to maximize his or her understanding of each subject. Everything the student works on will be “turned in” to the internet, where it will be analyzed and added to the rest of the student’s work. The internet will compute which type of work the student is most successful with and which teaching styles and learning environments maximize his or her attentiveness, comprehension, and interest. On the one hand, this might exponentially increase the effectiveness of education, allowing deeper understanding in myriad fields. On the other hand, the loss of the “togetherness” of a group of students all participating and adding their own perspective to each assignment may be detrimental. This loss could cause students to become very set in their ways, encouraging close-mindedness and weakening the ability of youth to adapt to new situations, whether in an academic setting or out in the real world.

Date Submitted: October 1, 2008