{Study} Future of our education system: learning - mobile self-determined and personal?


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How will we learn in the future? And how will our life and work change through the internet? The short study “Future of Education” by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University provides answers to this question. Sounds great, but the authors are still guilty of sound evidence.

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How serious is that?

At a university you are generally inclined to believe in a serious, scientifically sound data collection. If you take a look at the study “Future of Education - Four Theses on How We Will Teach, Learn and Work in the Future” by the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Mosbach (download here!), This proves to be a misconception:

The short study published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW) Mosbach and the 10th anniversary of the “Pro DHBW Mosbach” foundation does not consist of material that was researched at the university itself, but rather simply accesses older data, also compiled from various sources.

Forecasts always go into the pants?

What emerges is not a sound analysis of future educational scenarios, but a richly illustrated, crisp overview of current trends in education. I'm reminded that the Stark is reminiscent of the future institute.

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That does not have to be bad, such a succinct summary can even be very practical; However, one should keep this in mind when reading - as well as the fact that I jumped on each page when reading the study: You can just derive from current trends only forecasts, how the future actually will look, nobody can know. And predictions like to go in the pants ..

Profound change?

In the short study, the authors examine how teaching and learning will work in the future. Their first statement is hardly surprising: they note a profound change: our society is on the way to the next complexity level, from the industrial to the knowledge society, from the marketing to the substance society.

The Internet and especially the Web 2.0 have fundamentally changed the rules of knowledge transfer. According to a recent scientific study by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, about 70 percent of adult learning processes take place outside educational institutions, ie they are not organized in a formal-institutional way. This is always a double-edged thing for me: In principle, I find self-determined learning great, but should the state withdraw completely from it?

Institutes as knowledge managers

In any case, the author team is convinced that we must say goodbye to the fact that education takes place exclusively in the traditional institutions and paths. Instead, higher education institutions will increasingly assume the role of the knowledge manager, who has technical, content-related and methodological competencies and sets the framework conditions for (further) education.

If knowledge of the data highway internet is available everywhere and at the same time, it is no longer a matter of collecting and maintaining this centrally at a university, rather than mediating strategies to deal with this flood of knowledge.

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But how could they now look like the future of education? The short study presents four theses, which scenarios are conceivable and which changes can already be diagnosed today. I have briefly commented on the theses.

Thesis 1: The wisdom of mass revolutionizes knowledge management

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The authors are sure that knowledge generation will take place in the digital community in the future. Everyone has a say, recipients and consumers are the same person. Even in the university landscape, networking is learned and learned. We use virtual libraries, technology-based forms of course management and personal knowledge management. And we are witnessing the students' metamorphosis from the passive consumer to the self-confident knowledge collaborator, who works more stringently and independently than ever before on his upcoming role in the professional world.

My comment: This is the classic Web 2.0 thesis of the wisdom of the masses - of which I personally still do not know what to make of it.

The 2: Self-competence becomes the most important model on a fluid labor market

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The time of continuous careers is over, this diagnosis of the research team is based on the second thesis. Therefore, in the future, it will no longer be about managing his job, but about being an entrepreneur in the workplace Company to understand. One's own abilities and not the length of service will guarantee a lifelong employment - regardless of the employer. At the same time, continuing education courses separate from degrees and are instead organized in a decentralized manner and carried out individually.

My comment: In principle I welcome, as already blogged, self-determined learning. I would like to personally welcome the closing of financial statements and certificates. And, of course, everyone has to be responsible for his / her further education. However, this does not mean that the employer and the state are completely withdrawn from continuing education, and that only those who benefit from a further qualification can afford to make a financial contribution. This already stands out today. Education credits, which make sure that the trainee is in debt, or subsidies from a few 100 Euro (in view of the fact that many recognized trainings cost some 1000 Euro) are only half-hearted solutions.

The 3: Education and teaching will take place in real time all over the world

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Technological progress in ever shorter acceleration cycles has changed our everyday life massively since the beginning of the new millennium. Mobile devices no longer determine our daily communication, they are also increasingly suitable for education and research. Smartphones and electronic readers decouple learning from fixed places and times. Relatively new and as yet little known "knowledge transferors" such as "Augmented Reality" and "Serious Games" are used more and more for educational purposes. Statistics show that wherever information can be enriched with audiovisual effects, the participation of the viewer increases and with it the fascination of knowledge and learning.

My comment: Mobile learning, when and where I have time, sounds great. Also increases the pressure. And, to date, the technology is not yet fully developed.

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Thesis 4: Face-to-face communication is making its comeback in the digital age

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This is perhaps the most surprising finding of the publication: Despite its increasingly strong digital orientation, the world is not becoming entirely virtual. With each further step on new technological territory, well-known values ​​from the analogue, the “offline” world are becoming increasingly important.

For the emancipation of the educated citizen leads at the same time to an overload of information. If all content is available, who decides on relevance and gives (credible) recommendations? In the future, teachers will slip into a new role for the knowledge manager and pave the way for the learner through the bushes of the almost unmanageable wealth of information. Especially in the digital age, the human factor becomes a premium commodity in everyday life, education and teaching.

My comment

This thesis has recently been heard more and more often and does not really know: is this really a reality because, in response to the information overload, humans will actually do the opposite of what everyone is afraid of. Or is that just the fear of people who do not quite trust the Web 2.0 yet and therefore hope for a backlash somehow?

And if so, then I would have done it differently, more positively, by stating that in the digital age it is easier to maintain contact over longer distances. So I was just looking forward to data on this topic - and then more than disappointed by the meager database. Of course, when the trend is towards personal coaching, which is also much more efficient. Only there is again the sticking point, that this is a nice thing for those who can afford it.

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