A report from 2009, from KnowledgeWorks called 2020 Forecast: Creating the Future of Learning caught my attention. It identifies six major drivers of change that might unleash a wild world of learning quite unlike any system of schooling we’ve ever experienced. What I’m finding is that it’s increasingly a story-driven game that places students at the center of their learning experience, much like an MMORPG. In any case, the singularity is one narrative I imagine will drastically alter what it means to be a student interfacing with a world undergoing ecological and economic shifts.
In the section called Altered Bodies we’re reminded that neuroscientists have begun to design neuro-enhancements that might soon provide “customized learning experiences” that push the boundaries of ethics and cognitive rights. Learners are forecast to have “more and more options for modifying their minds and bodies in support of peak performance even as they navigate increasing levels of bio-distress.” I’m reminded of what H.G. Wells would say is urgently needed to prevent our own extinction, “the evolution of a new more powerful type of man.”
We’ve gotten closer with web 2.0 and mobile devices, but it’s time we take it up a notch. By combining nootropics with AR technologies we can layer our customized learning pathways into our line of sight, when needed. The report mentions how learners collaborate together in so-called “viral emotional networks” that link together our experiences. Fascinating to consider how utilizing gesture and speech recognition will allow us to become deeply embodied in such an altered state of education.
The critical components that I see as essential for the Amplified Organization must expand traditional social network to best enable self-organization and collaborative sense-making. The distributed learning system will be characterized by “anywhere, anytime learning” as the report suggests. It will help us engage new models for designing, organizing, and delivering our learning experiences.
If you’re like me, you’re keen on the idea of Platforms for Resilience that cultivate resilience when the “long-standing systems become weakened and destabilized by shocks and challenges”. A essential part of the solution are “the educators of the future” who create the learning infrastructures that transform communities by supplying new business, funding, education, and service learning models.
What KnowledgeWorks calls “Educitizens” will expand the scope of the classroom by linking schools to the civic spaces where a A New Civic Discourse unfolds. I can see how open forums can cultivate the bottom-up leadership required for families to healthily adapt to economic shifts, geographic displacement, and resource inequities.
A crucial aspect of the emerging learning ecosystem is The Maker Economy in which it is enmeshed. The report foresees “personal fabrication technologies and open-source principle” transforming curricula to include informal learning focused on producing real-world solutions. There potential for non-traditional learning spaces, or what the report refers to as “community tinkering centers as well as global know-how networks” could possibly ignite “youth-led innovation” because of the resources and mentors provided by creative third parties.
Advanced metrics help us visualize the “learning footprints” will help us better understand the educational decisions and career choices that matter to all participating in the “educational ecosystem”. Those of us engaging the data streams of school districts, charter school networks, and other multi-agency alliances will utilize a visual dashboard that facilitates Pattern Recognition. We may also expect to see a variety of games, simulations, and augmented reality tools that I suggest will help the learner engage the collective intelligence of their city.