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Future of Learning in Preparation for Life 2020+ (Sanoma)

We are a new group with widely divergent cultures, cultural settings and languages. We were fairly unfamiliar with each other. The scenario work showed us that it was possible for us to come up with scenarios that are applicable group-wide! We now have one language to communicate with. We have one common framework for thinking about our future!” – Bernard de Groot, Chief Innovation Officer, Sanoma Learning and Literature

A deep investigation into learning for one of Europe’s largest educational publishers, Snoma Learning and Literature.  This full-scale scenario process looked across China, India, Japan, the U.S. and Europe to explore a changing sector and industry. How has education been organized in the last 200 years, and how could it emerge in the next 20? In facilitated discussions and creative experiential workshops, a multicultural executive team created a shared language and perspective to build a robust strategy for changing times. Immersive video interviews with 31 experts worldwide brought critical insights from diverse sectors: a Edo sushi master, ministers of education in Asia and Europe, hi-tech firms in San Francisco, computer pioneers, innovators in Virtual Reality and others. The scenarios opened a fresh vista for defining a new strategy for acquisition and innovation.

From the Driving Forces and Uncertainties

Ubiquitous computing: Seen as the third wave of computing. The first, the use of mainframes with a people-to-computer ratio of many to one. The second, the personal computer with one person to one computer. The third wave, ubiquitous computing: one person to multiple computers. Within an intelligent environment, ubiquitous technology informs the learning process that takes place in that space. Ubiquitous computing and intelligent environments can be powerful educational tools for richer, more effective teaching and learning.

Distributed authorship: User-generated online content creation, fueled by the Internet’s participatory culture and the social impetus forged by the open-content movement. It reflects an underlying orientation of a naturally tech savvy, digital generation: Do-it-yourself-online. It will be as good or better/more attractive than products made commercially or by experts.

Multiple intelligence: With new discoveries in science, we now recognize a complex topography for the brain. The discoveries correspond with observations made by educational and behavioral psychologists: different types of intelligence are inherent in each person. Our brain operates in terms of different sensory styles or “learning modalities.” Learning is most effective when we engage the different modalities and the particular style characteristic of the learner.

Search Technologies Their growing potential is exemplified by the importance of Google in our daily lives. We’ve even coined a popular term for looking items up online: “googling”. Could search engines one day address natural language queries; become more meaning-oriented; develop inverse search capabilities for times when the user knows what he/she is looking for, but is unable to find the keyword? What role can we anticipate for them in a transition to more individualized, learner-centred education approach from our one-size-fits-all model?

Intellectual Property Rights A new economic context and the advent of digital technology are challenging copyright regimes. Developed economies have become post-industrial societies where information and knowledge–based industries are the economic backbone; information and ideas are value creators. Traditional copyright laws are meant to protect ownership rights in industrial economies that relied on manufacturing and material production. The digital revolution has brought other dynamics into the mix with developments that undermine existing IPR regimes.

From global interviews across Europe, U.S. and Asia

Yogesh Kulkarni, Executive Director, Vigyan Ashram: Learning by doing combines elements of doing something practical, and learning the science, the social skills, etc. that are involved….

Andreas Schleicher, Head of Indicators and Analysis, OECD/ Education: Countries that perform best in PISA studies have important elements in common: professional development of teachers and education is depoliticized.

Mitchel Resnick, Director of Lifelong Kindergarten, MIT: Technology should be like clay…available for learners to combine with all sorts of materials and create their own fantasies.

Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Chief Creative Officer, Q Entertainment: Gaming and learning are built on the same structure: communication, sensory experience and human needs.

John Thackara, Director, Doors of Perception: A rougher world will not necessarily mean a worse world. It might be a more interesting world, with more creativity and less individualism.