Part 1 – The 8 driving forces changing education from the outside.

(1) If you haven’t yet, watch Sir Ken Robinson’s video, – Do Schools Kill Creativity to understand why school did it.

(2) Open your eyes to the world – we keep talking about creativity and innovation. If schools killed it, what happens to you when you leave?

(3) Now read this levelled-down version of Futurist Thomas Frey’s piece on The Future of Education.


Within two years a radical shift will begin to occur in the world of education.

While many people are making predictions about the direction that education systems are headed, they have found the best predictors to be hidden in the participative viral systems springing to life in the online world, such as iTunes and Amazon.

These bottom-up approaches (organic!) are quick to develop, participant-driven systems that are closely aligned to the demands of the marketplace.

Futurist Thomas Frey and the members and associated research teams of DaVinci Institute collaborated on this research study. In this paper they focussed on the key missing elements that will cause the disruptive next generation education systems to emerge.

The 8 Driving Forces.
The following are eight key trends that are driving change in the world of education. These trends will eventually define the size, scope, and speed of the emerging new system along with the characteristics needed for a global-scale adoption.

(This means, the emerging new system is going to be adopted globally but the size and scope and speed of it is just a matter of time….within 10 years.)

As you read through the following trends, it is our hope that you will begin to feel the forces at play, gain a sense of the undercurrent of influencers, and begin to understand the dramatic changes that will be happening only a few short years ahead.

1.) Transition from Teaching to Learning

The education system of the future will undergo a transition from a heavy emphasis on teaching to a heavy emphasis on learning. Experts will create the courseware and

the students will learn
anytime or anywhere at a pace that is comfortable for them, learning about topics that they are interested in.

In the future, teachers will transition from topic experts to a role in which they act more as guides and coaches.

2.) Exponential Growth of Information

Consider the following statistics

* The number of songs available on iTunes – over 3.5 million.
* The number of books on Amazon – over 4 million.
* The number of blogs available online – over 60 million.
* The number of entries on Wikipedia – over 4 million.
* The number of user accounts on MySpace – over 100 million
* The number of videos on YouTube – over 6.1 million

My thoughts: If you learn only from text-based, paper books, how far behind will you be waiting for a book to be written, edited, published and distributed?

  • How about the costs of producing and publishing a paper book?
  • If there are lots more books to be printed and published and distributed at such costs, can you afford to keep-up with buying all those books?
  • Or would it make more sense to access them fresh as the authors write and post directly online for comments and discussions?)
  • WHO WOULD WANT TO HIRE A STUDENT FROM AN EDUCATION SYSTEM THAT USES ONE TEXTBOOK FOR ONE TOPIC PER YEAR, STUDENTS WHO CANNOT LINK KNOWLEDGE FROM ONE SUBJECT TO ALL THOSE OTHER SUBJECTS?Wouldn’t people want to hire someone who can learn everything you learned in 11 years in 1 year? Wouldn’t that other person also learn FUTURE LEARNING 10x faster than you?Courseware Vacuum : Open Education Movement
    Open educational materials include text, images, audio, video, interactive simulations, and games that are free to be used and also re-used in new ways by anyone around the world.

    The learning system of the future will have a single access point for all of its courses.

    4.) Expanding Gulf Between Literates and Super-Literates

    The distance between the functionally literate and the super literate is growing.

    Until now the primary tool for these super literates to pass along their understanding of research to future generations has been through papers that are published in technical journals.

    An alternative to publishing papers will soon be the creation of courseware.

    Courseware will become an alternative to publishing papers or writing books, and will serve as an additional channel for the super literates to disseminate their understanding of the world.

    5.) Our “Touch Points” for Interfacing with Society are Changing

    “Touch points” are the places where we come in contact with the rest of the world.

    The Classroom Touch Point: There has long been the pervasive notion that learning can take place only in a classroom.

    However, classroom-centric education is not necessary for learning.

    Important new touch points for our mind include our computers, electronic newspapers, video magazines, handheld televisions, cellphones, MP3 payers, video games, artwork, and much more.

    My note : A new way to understand educator John Holt’s quote : Fish swim, Birds fly, Children Learn.

    Learning takes place from the moment a person wakes up in the morning until they fall asleep at night. In fact, learning continues even while a person is sleeping. We may not be learning about math and science while we watch a movie, but we learn about the characters in the movie, the plot, the setting, the drama, the resolution of the problem, the kind of popcorn a theater serves, and how comfortable the seats are.

    Indeed some topics like math and science require a more structured form of learning for most students to grasp the information being imparted, but learning is not dependent upon the classroom.

    In some cases the classroom may be the optimal environment for learning to take place, but most often it is not.

    6.) Learning Drivers

    Why do people need to learn? Why do people want to learn? What are their motivations? What are the drivers that control a person’s desire to fill their minds with knowledge and information?

  • Maslow’s basic concept is that the higher needs in the hierarchy come into focus only once all the needs that are lower down in the pyramid are mainly or entirely satisfied.

    Maslow’s basic position is that as people become more self-actualized and self-transcendent, they develop wisdom and automatically know what to do in a wide variety of situations.

    7.) The Age of Hyper-Individuality

    Today the average person sleeps two hours less than a person in the 1920s. We have gone from 8.9 hours per night to 6.9 hours per night, and many people today, if they could do without, would skip sleeping altogether.

    With time being one of our major constraints, we are continually searching for products that will save us time.

    We also have an overwhelming need to feel special in a world of over 6 billion other people wanting many of the same things.

    8.) Transition from Consumers to Producers

    As we transition from a predominantly passive society to a more active one, people no longer want to just sit on the sidelines and watch. They want to participate.

    And a whole new generation of tools and equipment are allowing people to shift their role from consumer to producer.

    When did this transition begin?

    This transition began with the introduction of comment sections at the end of online news posts. People began to voice their thoughts on whether or not a piece of news was accurate, timely, or in any way news-worthy. Many commenters added additional information.

    The world of user-generated content illustrates the public’s driving need to participate and lend their own thoughts and ideas to the world around them.

    My next note would be about : How are we going to prepare our young people for this world?


    1 Comment

    Filed under Future of Education

    One response to “Part 1 – The 8 driving forces changing education from the outside.

    1. Pingback: | Small Info

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s