Archive for October, 2008

Knowledge for life or knowledge in change?

Here is a summary of the first chapter from the report “The future of learning” that I have co-written.

Today, learning is regarded as a fundamental condition for the development of our society.  Sometimes we forget that the humanity throughout history has been forced to aquire new knowledge to understand the world and work socially. Of course we need new and different capabilities than we needed just a few decades ago.

Lifelong learning has became a key comcept in discussions around learning. But what do we need to learn for the society of tomorrow? Both the youth- and adult educational programmes follow the pattern of traditional education in a traditional school environment. Despite large investments in ICT (information and communication technology) in school, the everyday of pedagogy is not very different from the situation 25 years ago. One reason that the educational world is lagging behind in the use of modern technology is the lack of the relevant technology.  There is an expectation that schools will develop the use of ICT without getting real means to do it. Technical development will continue regardless of the development in education. How will schools take part of this development?

In the digital society, the citizen is always connected. The technical gadgets and the web are used as tools, socializing with family and friends, but also as participation in society. It opens for learning, both individually and togeter with others in learning communities.

The learning theories that were created before ICT changed the conditions for learning is no longer enough, George Siemens claims regarding his own learning theory “Connectivism”.  Lifelong learning takes place in formal education, but in the future,  it will even more occur in experiences throughout our private life and work.  Borders between formal and informal education are dissolved and learning takes place in global networks, where knowledge are created and shared between individuals and organizations. Knowledge banks grows fast, but at the same time the knowledge gets obsolete faster.

With the access to collective knowledge, there is no longer any use to gain huge masses of knowledge beforehand, but rather to know where to find the knowledge that are needed to solve a problem or make a desicion.

For each individual it will be necessary to gain information competence, to be skilled in handling, valuing and work with information. An analytical skill and a well developed skill to estimate reasonableness and probability to gain the information that is needed for the moment. There will be expectations on the individual to cooperate and have a high presence on the web.  As a citizen of the future knowledge society one will use a collaborative way of working.  It brings possibilities to work and learn in social networks, where members can be spread over the world.

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About this blog

Starting from a project about foreseeing the future of learning, this blog is an output of thoughts, ideas, comments and research. I am trying to be practical too, providning examples of the different aspects of the subject. My name is Pelle Filipsson and I work as a web pedagog.