What Will Online Learning be like in 100 Years?

By Zoe Taylor

In our last blog post, we had a look back over the past sixty years of online education, discovering how technology, the internet and studying online as we know it came to be. Now, we’re going to look into the future, making predictions about what might occur in one hundred years time in the world of online education.


The year will be 2114, and I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ll be alive then. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know what life will be like in one hundred years time? I mean, will there really be hover cars flying around? Will robots do our housework for us? Will phones be thin as paper and see through? With the rate we are progressing each year, I don’t think those ideals are much of a stretch for the future.

But let’s cut to why we’re really here. What will online learning be like in 100 years?

Well, let’s see. Currently, we have the ability to study absolutely anywhere using any portable devices we own, there are a lot of different courses to choose from and students have the ability to Skype with their mentors. Oh, and get this: there is now such a thing as ‘wearable educational technology’. Crazy, right? Google Glass (currently only available to developers and priced at $1,500) is literally making the virtual world become a reality. Developers expect that, if used in education, they will allow for advanced ideals such as virtual educational excursions, offering the perspective of the lecturer, safe viewing of lab experiments at an up-close distance, and even virtual medical training (source). Amazing, right?

So if all this incredible technology is available to us right now, imagine the possibilities in one hundred years! Here’s what I think will happen: our portable devices (as suggested earlier) will be as thin as paper and see-through, so our education will be even easier to carry around than ever before (though devices such as Google Glass may make these portable devices redundant). There will be hundreds of thousands of different courses to choose from; from astronomy to travel to film and television to engineering – you name it, there’ll be an online course for it. And who knows, that mentor you’re currently able to Skype with might even have the ability to appear in hologram form. Considering what we’re currently capable of, it’s not such a far-out thought.

I would even go so far as to say that online education will be the only form of education in 100 years – classrooms will cease to exist. Now, this might seem like a controversial statement but think about it – so much is being converted into an online format these days that it seems quite realistic.

What do you think the future of online education looks like?

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One thought on “What Will Online Learning be like in 100 Years?

  1. 100 years is a long time, particularly when you think about what has happened in the last 100 years! But really we don’t know. The pace of change is so fast now, that even tech companies know that innovation can go out of date within 6 months. But will there be a saturation point? Will there be a time when the average person says – “STOP!!! Just let me take a breather here…” I think so.

    One of the recurring themes in science fiction novels is that battle between the incredible innovations of the new world, and reality…. This will never die.

    Even nowadays those people who thought facebook was the way to connect to the world 5 years ago, are realising a ‘friend’ is not always a ‘friend’.

    Online dating also may have brought some people together, but how many out there really believe that the guy on the other side of the screen really is that person and I guarantee that anyone who has tried online dating to meet their future partner would far prefer to meet them in the good old fashioned way….

    So for me I would say in 100 years, it will be the rich who will have real live human being teachers and the poor will be stuck with all the technology. That’s just the cycle of life.

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