In fourteen years, Mini Me will graduate from high school and Little Lady will follow in sixteen more years. It seems odd to be thinking of those far-off dates now, but it was running through my mind one morning as we approach graduation season.
I often wonder what a university education will look like for my children, assuming they choose to go. Will they have books with paper pages? I doubt it. I'm willing to bet that even by the time my children are in high school, no one will be lugging around heavy backpacks with textbooks; everything will be on e-readers. Oh, what a blessing that would have been in my college days of walking around with a loaded backpack! As exciting as that is to think of a dozen textbooks packed into one slim, electronic device, it also makes me wonder what university libraries will be like. Will publishers still print magazines and newspapers? Will paper books seem antiquated or will they still routinely be printed? Will libraries simply become quiet buildings with computers and wireless connections and only a few old, dusty books? Sitting at a quiet desk on the fourth floor of the library among the stacks was where I did my best studying!
I also envision what telephone communication will be like. There are already smart phones with front-facing cameras to make video chat like Skype possible from your cell phone. In fourteen years, will Mini Me call home and, when I answer, my 3-D hologram will pop up from the screen of his phone? Will I be able to look around his dorm room via my phone hologram and tell him to put his dirty clothes in the hamper? I especially like to envision our future home-to-college communication because I've already brainwashed him with this conversation:
Mommy: What will you do every day when you are older?
Mini Me: I'll call Mommy every day and tell her I love her.
Will my children attend a brick-and-mortar university, or will more universities be online-only? I loved, loved, loved my college experience. I'm the nerd that really got into the interesting classes and expanding my horizons with new-found knowledge, but the campus experience of meeting new people and socializing is near and dear to my heart, too. It pains me to think that my children could miss out on that experience; although getting a higher education of any sort is great and I do know that not everyone adored college like me. Serious technology aside, I simply can't envision a world in which students don't gather in university classrooms, in the flesh. That kind of education has been going on for well over 800 years! What fantastic technology could dissolve that?
Under the assumption that our children will go to college, we have accounts set up now, invested in their college education. We are blessed with no student loans to pay off and I can't imagine what a struggle that would be to add to our budget. If history is any indication, the cost of sending our children to college will be astronomical and of course it is prudent to start saving now. In fact, I monetized my blog a few months ago which is why you can now see adds scattered throughout. I decided that any revenue I collect from this blog will go straight into the kids' 529 accounts and at the rate I'm earning, I'll be able to purchase them a few lines of text on their future textbook e-readers. Ha! If you have about four extra seconds and see something bright and interesting, feel free to click on my blog ads. Sometimes I even see ones for my own alma mater! Click away!
I think many parents envision their children getting a university education after graduating from high school. I try to be realistic about my wonderings/hopes/assumptions about Mini Me's and Little Lady's college experiences. Maybe they won't spend Saturday mornings at the library like me, but maybe they'll be able to hear their professors give a lecture via a podcast hologram on their textbook tablets. Maybe they won't have the traditional four-years-on-campus experience, but maybe they'll go abroad for their entire education. Maybe "going abroad" will mean studying in outer space! Maybe we'll all laugh at my ideas of future technology when we read this in fourteen years!
Let Me Start By Saying...
16 hours ago