Expert Thinking About The Future Of Learning

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Expert Thinking About The Future Of Learning

Eight expert papers covering the future of learning include white papers published by FranklinCovey, Microsoft, Microsoft and McKinsey, and the Institute for the Future, and research papers published in the Journal of Information Science, the 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), the journal Computer, and the Teacher Learning Network (TLN) Journal. These papers show that there is a shift from traditional learning to informal learning, deep learning, social-emotional learning, personalized learning, and a work+learn future, that online searching can be viewed as a learning process, that there is a new learning theory that incorporates learning from both the past and the future, and that in the future, most tools for learning at the workplace will likely be delivered via augmented reality.

THE FUTURE OF LEARNING

Published in 2016 by FranklinCovey, this white paper details the possibilities and challenges that the future of learning and development brings. In this white paper, author Elisabeth Richard Bach, a master of information and communication technologies (ICT) and learning, and a client partner and implementation specialist at FranklinCovey Denmark, explains what she calls "Learning 4.0" and "We-Learning." According to Bach, learning is no longer just a product developed for the student or the learner, but it is increasingly becoming a connected and collaborative process involving the learner. Learning is becoming more and more informal, with on-demand learning, embedded learning, on-the-job learning, and social learning increasingly being used. We selected this white paper, as it is exactly about the future of learning and it was published by FranklinCovey, a leading consulting and training company that specializes in human behavior. FranklinCovey describes itself as "the world leader in helping organizations achieve results that require lasting changes in human behavior, often the most difficult challenge any organization faces."

THE FUTURE OF LEARNING: PROVIDING THE ASSETS FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE NEXT CENTURY

Released in 2018 by Microsoft, this white paper discusses in detail the future of learning, the shift from traditional learning to deep learning, the technologies that are being applied in learning, and the trailblazing education system in Finland. In deep learning, emphasis is placed on "real interactions with real-life challenges." Information is processed and experienced on a deeper level such that it does not get stored superficially in the student's mind. We selected this white paper, as it provides helpful insights about how learning is shifting towards deep learning. Also, Microsoft, with the technology it offers, plays an important role in the learning space. Its global mission, after all, is "to empower every student to achieve more."

THE CLASS OF 2030 AND LIFE-READY LEARNING: THE TECHNOLOGY IMPERATIVE

Microsoft, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company's Education Practice, released this white paper in 2018. Findings in this white paper were based on surveys of students and teachers across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. One of the most important findings in this white paper is the increased need for educators to assist students in honing their social-emotional skills. These skills, along with cognitive skills and content knowledge, are becoming increasingly important in both the classroom and the workplace. We included this white paper, as it is a product of the research collaboration between two prestigious companies, Microsoft and McKinsey. It also provides insightful information on both social-emotional learning and personalized learning.

TOWARDS SEARCHING AS A LEARNING PROCESS: A REVIEW OF CURRENT PERSPECTIVES AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

This paper reviews the relationship between searching and learning and lists the opportunities and challenges that need to be considered for future research on the subject. In this paper, authors Soo Young Rieh of the University of Michigan, Preben Hansen of Stockholm University, Hye-Jung Lee of the Institute for Education and Innovation, and Kevyn Collins-Thompson explain how iterative, integrative, and reflective search sessions can enable creative and critical learning, a type of learning that goes beyond just receptive learning. We decided to include this paper because it was published in the Journal of Information Science in 2016 and it covers a method of learning that we have not seen elsewhere. According to this paper, opportunities and challenges for future research include the development of an "inquiry-based literacy tool" within a search platform and the assessment of learning derived from online search behavior.

AN ENHANCED THEORY OF LEARNING INCLUDING LEARNING FROM THE FUTURE

Written by Alexander Kaiser, this research paper presents an improved theory of learning that incorporates learning from both the past and the future. Past studies had shown that integrating learning from past experiences with learning from an imagined future leads to more radical and innovative ideas and broader content coverage. Kaiser also presents in this paper his practical experiences with the proposed learning theory. We chose this paper because it was published in the 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) and it proposes a new learning theory.

THE FUTURE OF LEARNING AT THE WORKPLACE IS AUGMENTED REALITY

This research paper, which was written by Fridolin Wild, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Brookes University, shows that future tools and support systems for learning will likely be delivered via augmented reality (AR). Published by the IEEE, this paper notes that while several impressive applications and prototypes exist, interoperability has been found to be lacking. As a result, a working group within the IEEE Computer Society is developing a data format that would facilitate the exchange and enrichment of AR content. This paper was selected for inclusion in this list because it was published in the journal Computer in 2016 and it touches on the future of learning.

NEW PEDAGOGIES FOR SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING: LESSONS FOR POSITIVE EDUCATION

This research paper was included in this list because it was published in the Teacher Learning Network (TLN) Journal in 2017 and it presents new learning pedagogies. Written by Toni Noble of the Australian Catholic University and Helen McGrath of Deakin University, both adjunct professors, this paper touches on new social-emotional learning pedagogies. According to this paper, there is a growing consensus around the world that learning should not focus solely on academic skills and that student well-being need to be considered as well.

A NATION UPSIDE DOWN: A NEW VISION FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING

The Institute for the Future published this white paper in 2018. This white paper was written by Jamai Blivin, CEO and founder of Innovate+Educate, and Dr. Merrilea Mayo, the founder of Mayo Enterprises, a consulting firm that specializes in the future of learning. We selected this paper as it focuses on the United States and provides several helpful details about the future of learning in the country. According to this paper, there is now a movement towards a work+learn future, where the degree-before-job model will slowly be displaced. Lines between employers and educators will blur, as employers now are being compelled to develop evolving work+learn pathways.

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Quotes
  • "When we take a closer look at learning inside the organizations, we see a shift from looking at learning as a product created for the learner, towards a collaborative and connected process that involve the learner. Here, learning is a social and situated activity orientated towards people's participation in social practice – in other words, learning is a social process that requires participation."
  • "We are in the middle of a whole new era, which we call ‘social learning’, ‘informal learning’, ‘collaborative learning’, and where ‘informal learning’ is a completely new set of approaches including learning on-demand, embedded learning, on-the-job learning, as well as social learning. "
Quotes
  • "Learning is changing from knowledge distribution to a profound development process of thinking and skills. The role of the teacher as well as the student will change, and the importance of communication and creativity will grow. Digital learning platforms allow each learner to design their learning to suit their individual needs and styles and the analysis tools will provide teachers with precise information on the kind of support his/her students need. "
  • "Deep learning is real interaction with real-life challenges, and thus meaningful in a profound way. It involves practicing the ability to manage and interpret existing knowledge by combining it with new information, to build new meaning. The acquired information does not remain on a superficial level in the student’s mind, but will be experienced and processed in a deeper level and stored in his memory. "
Quotes
  • "Personalized learning, optimized and scaled by technology, will play a critical role in shifting from an education model driven by standardized courses and curricula to a student-centered model customized to individual needs with a greater emphasis on social-emotional skills. "
  • "By the time today’s kindergartners enter the workforce, activities will substantially change across most occupations and will increasingly require the application of expertise and creative problem solving, as well as collaboration, management, and the development of people."
Quotes
  • "Previous studies showed that combining learning based on experiences in the past with learning from an envisioned future scenario results in more innovative and radical ideas as well as in a higher number of covered content domains. However, currently there is no holistic learning theory which integrates both sources of learning. The main purpose of our paper is to propose an enhanced theory of learning, linking the two most important sources of learning: learning from past experiences and learning from the future. "
Quotes
  • "The next generation of performance support systems and tools for learning at the workplace are likely to be delivered in augmented reality (AR). Although there are many impressive prototypes and bespoke applications, interoperability has been neglected. To fix this, an IEEE Computer Society working group is creating a data format for the enrichment and exchange of AR learning content."
Quotes
  • "The ultimate goal for education is to help all students to thrive and flourish. Traditionally educators and governments have focused solely on academic skills as a measure of both their students' success and their country's educational standards. There is now a growing global consensus that student wellbeing and student learning go hand in hand to help all students thrive."
Quotes
  • "FranklinCovey is the world leader in helping organizations achieve results that require lasting changes in human behavior, of the most difficult challenge any organization faces."
Quotes
  • "This report, A Nation Upside Down, offers data that suggest–not surprisingly, and not for the first time—that the current education and employability pipeline is not working for the majority of Americans. Credential-based requirements for work and the ability of individuals to obtain those credentials are at an impasse. However, there is evidence that employers are beginning to forge a new path into a future that values performance above everything else, discretizes performance into individual skills for measurement purposes, and creates interoperable work-education systems to upgrade skills as needed, eventually replacing the existing model of degree-before-job. "
  • "Individuals’ ability to navigate this new work+learn future will depend critically on their ability to learn how to learn."
  • "In the future, employers will no longer be a separate entity from the education establishment. Pressures from both the supply and demand side are so large, employers will end up – through default if not desire – co-designing novel pathways to credentials, certifications, employment, and promotion in order to access skilled labor. A work+learn economy is emerging all around us. Among the first work+learn shifts are being faced employers themselves, having to create dynamic work+learn pathways into our future."
Quotes
  • "The paper begins by reviewing current literature that tends to characterize search systems as tools for learning. We then present a perspective on searching as learning that focuses on the learning that occurs during the search process, as well as search outputs and learning outcomes. The concept of ‘comprehensive search’ is proposed to describe iterative, reflective and integrative search sessions that facilitate critical and creative learning beyond receptive learning. "
  • "In conclusion, we summarize opportunities and challenges for future research with respect to four agendas: developing a search system that supports sense-making and enhances learning; supporting effective user interaction for searching as learning; providing an inquiry-based literacy tool within a search system; and assessing learning from online searching behaviour."