Friday, July 9, 2010

PL 41/10: Cutting edge

Filed under: future — plinius @ 5:56 am

Changes in learning and teaching are driven by global forces.

Schools and universities do not control these forces. What we control is the timing of our responses.

A degree of risk is involved in any case. Institutions that act too early may be stuck with immature and clumsy systems. But higher education is becoming a competitive market. Institutions that engage too late may see the competition surge ahead.

One piece of advice is relevant for slow and fast alike: study the global trends! It is impossible to understand the long-term changes in education from a local point of view.


Note that trends become visible long before they become dominant. The article As we may think by Vannevar Bush (1945) predates the early internet by twenty-five and the World Wide Web y forty-five years.

Bill Gates has been quoted as saying: Less will happen in two years than you think. But more will happen in ten years than you think. I support that.

Trends and cases

Below I have collected links to some recent analyses of current global trends. They have been written by some of the brightest and most knowledgeable people around. I have also listed a few cases.

Nobody can predict the next ten years in detail. But all of these studies point in the same general direction. We know roughly where we are going. In that sense it is easy to prepare for the future of education.

The main obstacle at the moment is not people who disagree, but institutions that avoid discussion – about the future. That makes preparation difficult.


Trends (via Plinius)

More trends

Trends for librarians

Cases (via Plinius)

More cases

New book



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