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Perspectives on Invisible Learning

By popular demand, here are the slides from my Invisible Learning “stump lecture” from the past month:

In an era of globalization and “flattening” of our relatiohships around the Earth, how can we learn better? What happened to learning as we moved from the stable structures of the 20th century to fluid and amorphic structures of the 21st century? What roles do schools and colleges play when you can learn in any context and at any time? Do we continue with formal learning or do we formalize informal learning?

This is an open invitation to explore some of the best ideas emerging around the planet that are contributing to a new ecology of learning.

More info: www.invisiblelearning.com

The Education Futures timeline of education

Education Futures celebrates its first five years of exploring new futures in human capital development with a timeline of the history of education from 1657-2045. This timeline provides not only a glimpse into modern education, but plots out a plausible future history for human capital development. The future history presented is intended to be edgy, but also as a conversation starter on futures for education and future thinking in human capital development.

As always, we invite your feedback and suggestions for further development! We expect many enhancements and updates to this resource in the near future.

Designing Education 3.0

This week, Education Futures presents a series on Education 3.0. For a little background on this new paradigm of human capital development, you may wish to start with this chart on Education 3.0, or view this presentation on SlideShare.

This is my take on the future of education. Just as there are various conceptualizations of what Web 2.0 and future Web 3.0 might be, there are various conceptualizations of the Education 1.0 – 3.0 spectrum. Derek Keats shared one model he created with J. P. Schmidt a couple years ago, and a simple Google search provides links to various other frameworks or conceptualizations. My model focuses on the feedback-looped, transformative relationship between technology and society, and extends the relationship to transformations in human capital development. In brief,

  • Society 1.0 refers to pre-industrial, industrial and information age society that was based on linear, task-oriented relationships. The role of the corresponding Education 1.0 regime was to create graduates that would perform well in jobs with easily defined parameters and relationships.
  • Society 2.0 refers to the knowledge-based society that is driven by globalization and the growth of networking technologies. In this paradigm, information is no longer as important as the knowledge that’s created as we interpret information and create meaning. Increasingly, people are becoming more valued for their personal knowledge rather than their ability to perform tasks. Moreover, rapidly evolving information and communications technologies allow us to socially construct knowledge in new ways (i.e., through Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools). The role of Education 2.0 is to develop our talents to compete in a global market with new social relationships, and where we are able to leverage our knowledge.
  • Society 3.0 refers to an emerging innovation-based society that is not quite here, yet. This is a society that is driven by accelerating change, globalized relationships, and fueled by knowmads. In an era of accelerating change, the amount of information available doubles at an increasing rate, and the half-life of useful knowledge decreases exponentially. This requires innovative thinking and action by all members of society.

Borrowing from the New Paradigm model that I recently published in On the Horizon, basic characteristics of the 1.0 – 3.0 spectrum may be summed in this table:

Paradigm

Domain 1.0 2.0 3.0
Fundamental relationships Simple Complex Complex creative (teleological)
Conceptualization of order Hierarchic Heterarchic Intentional, self-organizing
Relationships of parts Mechanical Holographic Synergetic
Worldview Deterministic Indeterminate Design
Causality Linear Mutual Anticausal
Change process Assembly Morphogenic Creative destruction
Reality Objective Perspectival Contextual
Place Local Globalizing Globalized

We will dive into more detail on these trends throughout the week.

What about education? This week, we will examine how Society 3.0 impacts Education 3.0:

Please visit often and submit your comments!

No burger flippers left behind

About an hour ago, Maya Frost tweeted something utterly disturbing:

Not So Global: Share of US public elementary schools teaching foreign language classes drops by 40% in last decade http://tinyurl.com/ak4at9

From the linked article (via Public School Insights):

The share of U.S. public elementary schools teaching foreign language has fallen by almost 40% over the last decade. You know–the decade when 9/11, globalization, and growing diversity at home fueled calls for greater knowledge of other languages and cultures.

Education Week published these disheartening preliminary results of a new survey by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). The full results will be available in autumn.

My fear is that is a part of a widening trend where the U.S. education system is failing to meet the needs of the workforce. If graduates from U.S. public institutions cannot function in a global, intercultural environment, what employment hopes do they have? A low level role at McDonald’s?

Brooks on the "Cognitive Age"

David Brooks wrote an excellent op-ed piece in today’s New York Times. He states that individuals cannot be successful in a globalized world without building advanced capabilities to transform information into meaningful knowledge:

The globalization paradigm leads people to see economic development as a form of foreign policy, as a grand competition between nations and civilizations. These abstractions, called “the Chinese” or “the Indians,” are doing this or that. But the cognitive age paradigm emphasizes psychology, culture and pedagogy — the specific processes that foster learning. It emphasizes that different societies are being stressed in similar ways by increased demands on human capital. If you understand that you are living at the beginning of a cognitive age, you’re focusing on the real source of prosperity and understand that your anxiety is not being caused by a foreigner.

This is one of the few articles in popular media that effectively ties globalization with the need for revolutionizing human capital development. And, it is one of the very few articles that contain the words “globalization” and “pedagogy” together in the same paragraph.

Read the entire article…

Reversing America's hidden brain drain

A few days ago, Minnesota Public Radio‘s Gary Eichten shared a clip of Duke’s Vivek Wadhwa, speaking about his research on the effects of globalization in the United States:

After researching the impact of globalization on U.S. competitiveness in the tech industry, Vivek Wadhwa was surprised to see his findings contradict commonly-held ideas. He recently discussed his research at the City Club of Cleveland and the policies he says are taking the U.S. in the wrong direction.

He states that we need not worry about a shortage of scientists and engineers in the U.S., despite alarms sounding off to the contrary by public policy leaders. If we provide incentives for U.S.-educated foreign nationals to remain in the country rather than requiring them to leave after they complete university studies, we can build and maintain the human capital required to remain competitive in the 21st century. For more, listen to his talk at the MPR website

(Thanks to Carole Gupton for forwarding this item.)

Five predictions for 2008 and more

Education Futures is back from winter break! Regular postings will now resume.

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Photo by darkmatter

Looking forward to the rest of this year, here are my predictions of the big stories in the global education world for 2008:

  1. Largely driven by the moderate success of OLPC, Linux will emerge as the platform of choice for K-12 technology leaders. The OLPC will demonstrate that not only is Linux different, but it can also be used to do new and different things. Instead of using new technologies to teach the same old curricula, new technologies will be used to teach new things.
  2. Web 2.0 will continue to democratize the globalization of higher education as more students and professors embrace open communications platforms. This means university administrations will have a harder time “owning” their global agendas.
  3. Because of the influences of #1 and #2, education-oriented open source development will boom.
  4. Chinese orientations toward the rest of the planet will change during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The Chinese widely view that the award to host the Olympics is a sign that their country is progressing positively –and of international acceptance. During the Olympics, however, much of the international attention will focus on revisiting the Tienanmen Square Massacre, the government’s treatment of political prisoners, the annexation of Tibet, the mainland’s relations with Taiwan, catastrophic ecological destruction throughout China, and many more sensitive topics. Unless if the Chinese can distract the world with Olympian splendor, they will have to endure international condemnation. What will this do to the millions of Chinese school kids who were drafted into generating national spirit under the false assumption that the world thinks China is doing a great job? Will China reorient its education system away from the West?
  5. India’s the place to be. As more U.S. companies quietly continue to offshore their creative work to India, India’s knowledge economy will boom. The world will take notice of this in 2008.

Here are predictions for 2008 from elsewhere:

General

Business and Economy

Environment

Media and Technology

Is higher education globalizing? You betcha!

USC’s Lloyd Armstrong posted a link to a draft article for New Directions in Higher Education (2007, Wiley Periodicals) where he argues that globalization has had a small effect on higher education. In his blog, he writes:

But why has higher education responded so slowly to the opportunities and challenges of globalization? I argue that the major reason has been the place-based nature of our history, and consequently, of our missions. There are also constraints in the way of change, which include the reality that at present, US higher education has been dominant in the competition for international students and faculty; that the constituencies that support higher education are not open to a greatly changed role; and that government in the US has not addressed the question of what it expects of higher education in a rapidly globalizing world.

Sure. If you’re thinking of globalization as internationalization, there hasn’t been much change. If you’re thinking of internationalization as study abroad or as attracting more foreign students, creating branch campuses, etc., you’re not going to see much change, either.

There are far more dimensions to globalization than just “internationalization,” and far more dimensions to internationalization than study abroad. A globalized institution attends toward developing a chaordic balance between dichotomies of the local and the global, the real and the virtual, the periphery and core, and its interdependence among and with various actors.

This also means that a globalized university, inherently, is more creative –and its levels of creativity need not operate at administrative levels. Globalizing activities may occur at institutional, departmental, and individual levels within universities. If Armstrong is looking for macro-level signs of globalization, he will ultimately fail.

Breaking away from 20th century paradigms, Armstrong needs to explore how globalization also extends beyond the development of institutional “brands.” Global universities harness the opportunities provided by the interdependencies and dichotomies of globalization. An example of a globalizing activity is the upcoming (“version 2.0”) knowledge co-seminar/open seminar organized between the University of Minnesota and FLACSO-Mexico with linked classes at FLACSO-Ecuador, FLACSO-Chile, and the Technical University of Loja –and with additional participants from the Open University of Catalunya and SRI International. Such projects typically fall under the radar if you’re looking for macro-level signs of globalization or internationalization.

Perhaps the question Armstrong ought to ask is, how do we identify creative, global activities among our institutions?

Minnesota Higher Education in the New Paradigm of Knowledge Production: Findings and Discussion of a Delphi Study

Here’s my presentation from this morning’s La Universidad en México en el año 2030: imaginando futuros conference at UNAM in Mexico City.

(Click here for the Spanish version.)

This paper introduces how the convergence of globalization, emergence of the knowledge society and accelerating change contribute to what might be best termed a New Paradigm of knowledge production in higher education. The New Paradigm reflects the emerging shifts in thought, beliefs, priorities and practice in regard to education in society. These new patterns of thought and belief are forming to harness and manage the chaos, indeterminacy, and complex relationships of the postmodern.

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