The Future of Learning in a Networked Society

Have you seen the short video (about 20 minutes) on the future of learning from Ericsson’s networked society?  The video highlights interviews from several leading people offering their perspectives on where learning and education is heading.  Below are a few takeaways from the video.

“The origins of traditional education lie inside the military, to a large extent.  They needed identical people (soldiers, administrators and so on) so they could produce the system.  When the industrial revolution happened, they too wanted identical people in their assembly line.  Even in their consumers they wanted them to be identical so that they would require the same thing.” Sugata Mitra

If you look at the fact that we process 20 or 30 kids at a time in a batch just like in the factory.  If you fail 3rd grade we hold you back and reprocess you.  All matching the way the factory works.  We built it on purpose and it was really useful for its function but we don’t have a shortage of factory workers anymore.” Seth Godin

Seth says that “there’s a big difference between access to information and school.  They used to be the same thing.  Information is now available online to anyone who has access and wants it.”

“Knowing something is probably an obsolete idea.  You don’t actually need to know anything. You can find out at the point when you need to know it. It’s the teacher’s jobs to point young minds to the right kind of question. The teacher doesn’t need to give any answers because answers are everywhere.” Sugata Mitra

“Learners who find the answers for themselves retain it better than if they are told the answer.”  Sugata Mitra

You can’t imagine in a world where you sit down to do an exam and you ask yourself the question;
I hope there are no surprises on the exam paper.  And your teachers think; I hope I prepared him for everything.
How would that prepare you to then go out into a world that everyday is going to surprise you – it’s full of surprise of the economy, of society, of politics, of invention, of technology.  Everyday is a surprise.”  Stephen Heppell

Learning prepares you to cope with the surprises, education prepares you to cope with certainty.  There is no certainty.”  Stephen Heppell

“Revolutions destroy the perfect and they enable the impossible.  They never go from everything is good to everything is good.  There is a lot of noise in the middle.” Seth Godin

“No one I know takes standards tests for a living.  So, why are we using standardized tests to see if you are going to be good when we don’t have standardized tests after you take it.”  Seth Godin

“Education tends to move in stair step functions, in terms of change, so when it does change, it explosively changes.  The move from pre-printing press to post-printing press is a one-time transition in history of the world in terms of education.  Online education is going to be like that as well.”  Jose Ferreira

“One of the revolutions that we’re going to see is where less and less of education is about a conveyor of content because that is going to be a commodity and hopefully one that’s going to be available to everyone around the world.” Daphane Koller Coursera co-founder/CEO

“If you add up every child in history, more children have left school in the past 30 years than have ever left school in history.  If I were to make one change, I’d make their schooling just a little bit better.  And that will change history faster than anything else.”  Stephen Heppell