The beginning of every new year spawns a flurry of predictions. This year’s predictions in education mark a definite shift in direction.

According to experts, education will be moving away from one-size-fits-all assessments and memorizing facts to learning how to make a difference. In the next decade, solving complex problems will be most important for students.

Forbes predicts that, instead of an obsession with testing and ranking, cohort education will involve place-based learning experiences. Experiential learning will slowly become the new normal.

Boundaries between the community and the schools' walls will dissolve, and students will gain a firm understanding of how they can impact the world around them. The achievement will not be measured by the score on a test but their actions. They will learn to connect their learning with their passion.

Another promising prediction is that community-based programs will now add to credit hours. Learning and work experience have real significance in students' lives. These learner-centered after-school and summer programs will soon be part of a child's formal education.

Vocational training will also see a new level of growth with a rapid expansion of education pathways. Along with two-year degrees and four-year degrees, more schools are working on introducing a greater number of career and technical programs and skill certifications.

AI and machine learning will be more prevalent, and they will be intrinsic to creating a student-centered model. They will help in connecting the learning focus and purpose of each student with his or her passion.

Forbes also stressed the growing importance of micro-credentialing. The next decade will see more high school graduates opting for micro-credentials in lieu of a full-time, four-year university degree. The importance of vocational and learner-based training will pave the way for these degrees and help combat college debt crisis.

Credentialing of all kinds is becoming a trend within the learning space. Colorado recently made news in this regard, as it introduced free, online GED credentialing. Open to residents older than 21, the move aims to reduce underemployment and unemployment in the state. Micro-credentials validate the skills that are most in-demand in today's market and resonate with the new generation of active learners.

These university-backed credentials will give students the employable skills they need in the modern economy. Skills will range from business communications and counseling to robotics and coding, among others.

As more students are opting for online or part-time degrees as they continue to work, the demand for full-time degree programs will decrease. Universities that have jumped onto the online education bandwagon will survive declines in traditional student enrollment.

Keeping up with the growing trend of differentiation, schools will develop better ways to provide home-based internet access to students and incorporate active learning as a part of the curriculum. Soon, K-12 curricula will integrate goal-setting and a growth mindset to encourage intrinsic motivation.