This isn’t the Information Age, it’s the Learning Age; and the quicker people get their heads around that, the better – Prof Stephen Heppell
This is a quote from a short video on the future of learning which asks the key question, What do we want to do? (with all of this networked information technology).
There is little doubt that we need systemic change to prepare for the Learning Age, the signals are everywhere and the conversations are getting louder. Here’s an example: I recently met with some people in a large organization who are working on some new learning network initiatives. I mentioned that I was connected on Twitter to a person working on similar things and that I could connect them. On checking the name, we discovered that all of these people worked in the same organization but didn’t know what the others were doing. One limiting factor was the iron fist of the IT department, which doesn’t allow access to a wide variety of web sites and platforms. People cannot easily connect and therefore they cannot learn from each other. The silence between the silos is deafening.
Starting in the early years, schools need to shift to individualized learning. With 2GB of information being added every second, no one can “master content” any more. Jobs and roles are fragmenting so quickly (what’s a social media expert?) that a single, 12-year curriculum is laughable.
Business models and work practices are becoming networked and global, speeding the rate of time to implementation. The lines between work and leisure are blurring, as with work and learning. Today, about 16% of us can be described as hyperconnected but that is expected to grow to 40%, and I would say those people will be the main drivers of our economies and societies.
Every person in an organization can, and should, begin a journey to be active in the Learning Age:
Accept life in Beta and give up some control by trusting people to do their work.
Help people by enabling connections (outsourcing the IT department would be a good start) and assisting with methods like PKM.
Examine better ways to organize and structure but start the change at the individual and personal level.
Work at becoming better teachers, because when we teach, we learn best.