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New Futures for Education: Beyond the Information Age.

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Keynote presented to the World Future Society's conference in Mexico City, 7 November 2003.
Note that the speech itself is written in the slidedeck notes, so if you view "notes" while clicking through the deck, you can read the speech in full.

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New Futures for Education: Beyond the Information Age.

  1. 1. New Futures for Education: Beyond the information age. WFS México, 7 November 2003 Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Infinite Futures http://www.infinitefutures.com/
  2. 2. Current pressures <ul><li>Infrastructure inadequate </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure decay </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure lag </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher shortage </li></ul><ul><li>Budget crises </li></ul>
  3. 3. Education foresight projects <ul><li>Country foresight reports on education: UK, Denmark, Hong Kong, USA (California, New England, Hawai’I) </li></ul><ul><li>Regional reports: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training; OECD Programme on Educational Building. </li></ul>
  4. 4. NEA higher ed futures <ul><li>Market driven: </li></ul><ul><li>MacUniversity </li></ul><ul><li>Educational Maintenance Org. </li></ul><ul><li>Outsourced </li></ul><ul><li>Warehouse </li></ul><ul><li>Wired </li></ul><ul><li>Quality driven: </li></ul><ul><li>Access Community College </li></ul><ul><li>Community U. </li></ul><ul><li>Global Tech </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting Edge U. </li></ul>NEA, online at http://www.nea.org/he/future/index.html
  5. 10. “New” delivery systems… <ul><li>On-line classes hailed as: </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible, asynchronous </li></ul><ul><li>“Information-age” media </li></ul><ul><li>More accessible … the finest minds, from the world to your laptop </li></ul>
  6. 11. …or old models re-clothed? <ul><li>On-line classes often structured in lock-step: sequential daily input </li></ul><ul><li>Simply a transfer of print-based curricula to the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching often outsourced to “gypsy scholars” -- cheaper in budget crises </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial: commodification of knowledge transfer. </li></ul>
  7. 12. Industrial ed is dead. Next? <ul><li>We no longer need to create the standardized factory worker; </li></ul><ul><li>We do need an adaptable work force that can acquire new skills quickly and continuously. </li></ul>Vos and Dryden, The Learning Revolution, 2001; http://www.thelearningweb/education-future.html
  8. 13. A myriad of models: <ul><li>Centralized (Singapore) </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralized (New Zealand) </li></ul><ul><li>Computers and chicks (Sweden) </li></ul><ul><li>Certification </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Give it away (MIT) </li></ul><ul><li>Internet sales (U. of Phoenix) </li></ul><ul><li>Foundation (ACoT) </li></ul><ul><li>Learning organization </li></ul><ul><li>Neo-Confucian </li></ul>Vos and Dryden, The Learning Revolution, 2001: http://www.thelearningweb/education-future.html
  9. 14. MIT gives it away free.
  10. 15. Get me out of the factory...
  11. 16. …and into a community.
  12. 17. Students in 2020… <ul><li>They layer identities -- multiple cultures, many interests, nomadic careers, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Post-millennial career women shatter the glass ceiling by getting more education than their brothers. </li></ul><ul><li>A “Participation Generation” -- tailoring products for themselves, collaborating on services they expect. </li></ul>
  13. 18. How do they play? <ul><li>Mass customization: their toys, consumer goods, clothes tailored to their exact desires. </li></ul><ul><li>Immersive media -- virtual reality and role-playing. </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory: networked games, synchronous and asynchronous. </li></ul><ul><li>Make their own movies/fiction/games. </li></ul><ul><li>Not team but extreme sports (catching big air). </li></ul>
  14. 19. New media, new languages <ul><li>Texting… like many pidgins: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explosively deconstructs formal rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accelerates -- but simplifies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gaming: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes situational awareness: immediate apprehension of the gestalt of a situation; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accelerates observe-and-respond reflexes -- but degrades emotional depth. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 20. In 2048, the last literate person dies.
  16. 21. It begins with hypertext & hypermedia... <ul><li>Enables in-depth annotation; </li></ul><ul><li>Mixes print and other media; </li></ul><ul><li>Allows multidimensional structuring of narratives and logical arguments…. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Earth by David Brin </li></ul>
  17. 22. It builds with smart ink & infinite books <ul><li>MIT’s Media Lab: “smart ink” embedded in the paper and electronically activated; the resulting </li></ul><ul><li>“infinite books” would also be infinitely interactive; </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., The Diamond Age </li></ul><ul><li>by Neal Stephenson </li></ul>
  18. 23. It expands with man-machine interfaces <ul><li>Current research on neuron-chip connections and thought-activated computers, means future wireless access at the speed of thought, </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Oath of Fealty </li></ul><ul><li>by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle </li></ul>
  19. 24. And grows exponentially with ambient intelligence <ul><li>Ubiquitous microprocessors, embedded throughout the built environment, communicating wirelessly: </li></ul><ul><li>“ambient intelligence” </li></ul><ul><li>e.g., Star Trek’s computer access... </li></ul>
  20. 25. Until achieving non-linear rationality <ul><li>Shattering the linearity of print-based information presentation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stringer’s “navihedrons” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PersonalBrain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ThinkMap: The Visual Thesaurus </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… what happens when an entire generation grows up in layered, multidimensional, multi-directional info environments? </li></ul>
  21. 27. u kood 3000 In year the this. red
  22. 28. u kood 2100 In year the this. red --a navihedron poster.
  23. 29. In 2048, the last literate person dies. linear thinker
  24. 30. Mental structures change... Can we extrapolate the mind of tomorrow -- and its education needs?
  25. 31. From Ravenclaw to Gryffindor <ul><li>From pre-defined, structured print to build-your-own multi-media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>from hot to cool , </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>from left / logical to right / intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From memory to experience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>read the instructions, or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>test to destruction? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>From industrial to organic </li></ul>
  26. 32. “ Geodesic” thinking…. <ul><li>Not the end of literacy -- the end of linearity: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The rise in systems thinking, and chaos and complexity as scientific paradigms, as well as… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergence of new oral culture on the foundation of voice input, and… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immersive media/ambient intelligence, and… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hypermedia organized by navihedrons, leads to… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Point-to-multipoint thinking, rather than linear cause-and-effect thinking. </li></ul>
  27. 33. The next generation of students: “homo gestalt”? <ul><li>systems thinkers -- stress linkages; </li></ul><ul><li>“ post-cultural” -- no fixed cultural view; </li></ul><ul><li>expanded senses; </li></ul><ul><li>techno-telepathy; </li></ul><ul><li>void consciousness; </li></ul><ul><li>fluid, mutable social structures. </li></ul>
  28. 34. What will the new delivery systems be? <ul><li>Reading, writing, and repeating </li></ul><ul><li>Online commercial classes </li></ul><ul><li>Lifelong, adaptive, self-organized, open source </li></ul><ul><li>Education by infection? by meditation? </li></ul><ul><li>Expired </li></ul><ul><li>Tired </li></ul><ul><li>Wired </li></ul><ul><li>Biopsychologically </li></ul><ul><li>inspired? </li></ul>
  29. 36. We educate to create our futures. <ul><li>Our challenge: </li></ul><ul><li>not merely anticipating the needs, </li></ul><ul><li>but anticipating the minds of the children </li></ul><ul><li>who will create the 22nd century. </li></ul>
  30. 37. Thank you. WFS México, 7 November 2003 Dr. Wendy L. Schultz Oxford, England Infinite Futures http://www.infinitefutures.com/