We are about 1200 days into Kelly’s prediction on the next 5000 days of the web. I am quite impressed with Kelly’s insight.
Kelly’s perspective on where we are going to be at the end of the next 3800 days or 10 years:
There’s only one machine, and the web is its OS.
All screens look into the One.
No bits will live outside the web.
To share is to gain.
Let the One read it.
It’s going to be machine readable;
you want to make something that the machine can read.
And the One is us — we are in the One.
In the report, The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg posit:
that the single most important characteristic of the Internet is its capacity to allow for a worldwide community and its endlessly myriad subsets to exchange ideas, to learn from one another in a way not previously available. We contend that the future of learning institutions demands a deep, epistemological appreciation of the profundity of what the Internet offers humanity as a model of a learning institution.
This argument is made on the presupposition that learning itself is the most dramatic medium of change and that technology is merely the conduit or catalyst that helps facilitate this change.
The report is part of a series published by MIT Press and funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation that examines the findings from current research on how young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life. While the report is packed with valuable information, The Pillars of Institutional Pedagogy: Ten Principles for the Future of Learning section offers a summary of the challenges we face as we rethink the future of our learning institutions.
(The principles and corresponding quotes were extracted directly from their explanation of the principles.)
1. Self Learning
Self-learning has bloomed; discovering online possibilities is a skill now developed from early childhood through advanced adult life. . . It is not for nothing that the Internet is called the “Web,” sometimes resembling a maze but more often than not serving as a productive if complex and challenging switchboard.
2. Horizontal Structures
Given the range and volume of information available and the ubiquity of access to information sources and resources, learning strategy shifts from a focus on information as such to judgment concerning reliable information, from memorizing information to how to find reliable sources. In short, from learning that to learning how, from content to process.
3. From Presumed Authority to Collective Credibility
Learning is shifting from issues of authoritativeness to issues of credibility. A major part of the future of learning is in developing methods, often communal, for distinguishing good knowledge sources from those that are questionable . . . We find ourselves increasingly being moved to interdisciplinary and collaborative knowledge-creating and learning environments in order to address objects of analysis and research problems that are multidimensional and complex, and the resolution of which cannot be fashioned by any single discipline. . . If older, more traditional learning environments were about trusting knowledge authorities or certified experts, that model can no longer withstand the growing complexities—the relational constitution of knowledge domains and the problems they pose.
4. A De-Centered Pedagogy
In secondary schools and higher education, many administrators and individual teachers have been moved to limit use of collectively and collaboratively crafted knowledge sources, most notably Wikipedia, for course assignments or to issue quite stringent guidelines for their consultation and reference. This is a catastrophically anti-intellectual reaction to a knowledge-making, global phenomenon of epic proportions. To ban sources such as Wikipedia is to miss the importance of a collaborative, knowledge-making impulse in humans who are willing to contribute, correct, and collect information without remuneration: by definition, this is education.
5. Networked Learning
6. Open Source Education
Networked learning is predicated on and deeply interwoven into the fabric of open source culture. Open source culture seeks to share openly and freely in the creation of culture, in its production processes, and in its product, its content. It looks to have its processes and products improved through the contributions of others by being made freely available to all. If individualized learning is largely tethered to a social regime of copyright-protected intellectual property and privatized ownership, networked learning is committed in the end to an open source and open content social regime. Individualized learning tends overwhelmingly to be hierarchical: one learns from the teacher or expert, on the basis overwhelmingly of copyright-protected publications bearing the current status of knowledge. Networked learning is at least peer-to-peer and more robustly many-to-many.
7. Learning as Connectivity and Interactivity
The connectivities and interactivities made possible by digitally enabled social networking in its best outcomes produce learning ensembles in which the members both support and sustain, elicit from and expand on each other’s learning inputs, contributions, and products. Challenges are not simply individually faced frustrations, Promethean mountains to climb alone, but mutually shared, to be redefined, solved, resolved, or worked around—together.
8. Lifelong Learning
It has become obvious that from the point of view of participatory learning there is no finality. Learning is lifelong. . .But what is certain is that the pedagogical changes we have enumerated have radically changed how we know how we know.
9. Learning Institutions as Mobilizing Networks
Traditionally, institutions have been thought about in terms of rules, regulations, norms governing interactivity, production, and distribution within the institutional structure. Network culture and associated learning practices and arrangements suggest that we think of institutions, especially those promoting learning, as mobilizing networks. The networks enable a mobilizing that stresses flexibility, interactivity, and outcome.
10. Flexible Scalability and Simulation
Networked learning both facilitates and must remain open to various scales of learning possibility, from the small and local to the widest and most far-reaching constituencies capable of productively contributing to a domain, subject matter, knowledge formation and creation. New technologies allow for small groups whose members are at physical distance to each other to learn collaboratively together and from each other; but they also enable larger, more anonymous yet equally productive interactions.
If this is the future of learning institutions then we need to ask — how do we build this? When I consider the task at hand I am reminded of two famous quotes from Einstein
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
While I am not certain what the journey will look like to this proposed future, I am certain that we can start the process of getting there IFF we have the courage to radically rethink our teaching and learning environments and IFF we change how we support these environments.
I alway find these sorts of exercises interesting and for the most part what is offered is simple speculation or common sense at best. It is always interesting to look back and see how accurate or inaccurate these predictions were.