Education Mega Trends – Collaboration, Mobile and Openess…

“By 2014, the number of cell phones will surpass the number of people on the planet”

This afternoon I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of New Media Consortium speak at the Campus Technology Forum – his keynote address, Reflections: The Horizon Project at Ten-Musings on Technology, How It Connects Us, and What It Means in Our Lives, was a refreshing perspective on how educators can adapt to changes in technology. The most significant points Dr. Johnson shared today:

Openness:  We are moving towards a world of openness where open content, data, resources, will be accessible. It will be a world of transparency. And…

….[openness] used to be a trend, but it is now moving towards a value –

Mobile: The Internet is becoming a mobile network. The introductory quote is telling, currently the cell phone penetration in households globally exceeds even homes with electricity. Not only in 2014 will cell phone penetration exceed 1:1, but…

….96% of cell phones worldwide will have a least one basic Web browser –

Collaborative: The world is increasingly collaborative, employers are looking for employees that can collaborate not only with peers within their own companies, but globally. It goes beyond knowing how to connect on the Web, but having awareness of cultural nuances and differences.

What does this mean for educators?
The benchmark moves with every generation – Dr. Johnson illustrated his point by describing technological tools used by four generations of ‘learners’, each being the ‘leader’ in his own time – his father building radios, himself writing software programs with punch cards, his 27-year old son interacting with life through social media and a mobile device, and his 2 year old grandson with his own iPad which he mastered before he could talk. What can we do as educators? It goes beyond being  ‘adaptable’, it’s about relating to learners in their own world, meeting them there. This is not just about adapting to the tools – it’s how  we reach and teach learners – with the curriculum, the content so they [students] can use the tools that they use everyday. Which means that we as educators need to adapt our pedagogy to morph accordingly — think of the toddlers of today using iPads seamlessly – soon enough we’ll be teaching those learners.

What is the New Media Consortium?
The New Media Consortium (NMC), is a non-profit, global organization, that provides leading edge research on the latest technology and applications for K12 and Higher Education institutions in order that educators can deliver relevant, meaningful learning. A must read for educators is the Horizon Report, part of the Horizon Project which features a series of reports across education disciplines giving insight into the technologies that are most likely to make a significant impact across three time horizons – immediate, short-term and long-term.

Related Articles:
Moving Beyond Technology, Campus Technology

Photo Credit: By Gustavo Devito, Flickr

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