I was at the recent iCTLT (“International Conference on Teaching and Learning with Technology” 2012 conference and had the great opportunity to hear from Dr Larry Johnson first hand. Dr Larry Johnson/CEO, New Media Consortium (NMC) is the co-founder of The Horizon Report Series which has now become an important global report that all technologists and educators should lay their hands on.
[The NMC Horizon Reports research into top emerging technologies across the globe and identify trends and challenges that the board believes will have a major impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry over the next five years. For a copy of the latest 2012 report, please download Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. (See also my earlier post Trends, Challenges and Techonologies to watch on Horizon Report 2011). Other regional reports are also available from the NMC website.]
In one of Dr Johnson’s presentations, he shared the outcome of the recent “10th Anniversary NMC Horizon Project Retreat” in which some 100 distinguished thought leaders from across 20 countries discussed the future of education. The notion put forth was “In a world where libraries are completely reinventing themselves, where universities and schools are moving away from labs to BYOD, and where the focus of everything seems to be on mobiles — what will be the role of technology in the next decade? What do leading institutions need to be doing now to prepare? What are the strategies that will provide them the most flexibility? The greatest competitive advantage?” And the outcome after picking the brains of these 100 experts:
10 Megatrends Affecting the Future of Education
- The world of work is increasingly global and increasingly collaborative.
- People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to.
- The Internet is becoming a global mobile network and already is at its edges.
- The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks.
- Openness – concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information – is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world.
- Legal notions of ownership and privacy lag behind the practices common in society.
- Real challenges of access, efficiency, and scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success.
- The internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy.
- There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities, and training.
- Business models across the education ecosystem are changing.
- The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
- Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
- Economic pressures and new models of education are presenting unprecedented competition to traditional models of schools.
- A key challenge is the fundamental structure of the K-12 education establishment — aka “the system.”
- Many activities related to learning and education take place outside the walls of the classroom and thus are not part of our learning metrics.
For more details, you can visit The Future of Education | 10th Anniversary Horizon Project Retreat Wiki site which documented the happenings at the retreat, including many 6-minute videos from some of the experts.
Like what Dr Larry Johnson said in his presentation, we are increasingly treating network connectivity to be like utility. You expect the lights to come on when you flip the switch and wouldn’t really care how or where it came from. The level of “network connectedness” has far exceeded our original imaginations and has already changed the way we work, play and interact. These megatrends and challenges are indeed important issues that cannot be ignored. There were of course many other areas that Dr Larry Johnson delved into in his presentation but if there was one simple thing that I would take away from his session to share with you (other than the above), it would be his definition of the network:
The network is not about us, the network is US!