The Future of Learning in a Networked Society

“This is the first generation of people that work, play, think, and learn differently than their parents … They are the first generation to not be afraid of technology. It’s like air to them.” – Don Tapscott

This powerful video has some of the worlds best educators and thinkers outlining their view on the ‘future of learning in a networked society’, including the likes of Stephen Heppell, Sugata Mitra, and Seth Godin:

YouTube: The Future of Learning, Networked Society

Again, here are a few choice quotes that I like from the video, but watch it yourself for their context and many more I didn’t have time to write down:

“We are probably at the death of education right now. I think the structure and strictures of schools, of learning nine-to-three, working on your own, not working with others, I think that’s dead or dying. I think learning is just beginning” – Stephen Heppell

“There’s a very big difference between accessed information and school, they used to be the same thing. Information is there, online, to anyone of the billion people who has access to the Internet. So what that means is that if we give access to a four year old, or an eight year old, or a twelve year old, they will get the information if they want it.” – Seth Godin

“You don’t actually need to know anything, you can find out at the point when you need to know it. It’s the teachers job to point young minds towards the right kind of question, a teacher doesn’t need to give any answers because answers are everywhere.” – Sugata Mitra

“The textbook of the future is going to be delivered on connected devices. What that means is the incredible amount of data that students have always produced, when they studied, are now capturable and usable.” – Jose Ferreira

“You can’t imagine in a world where you sit down to do an exam and you ask yourself the question ‘I hope there are no surprises in the paper’. And your teachers think ‘I hope I prepared him for everything’. How would that prepare you to then go out into a world that everyday is going to surprise you? Learning prepares you to cope with surprises, education prepares you to cope with certainty. There is no certainty.” – Stephen Heppell

Thank you to Grianne Conole for tweeting this earlier today.

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  • I’ve witnessed the impact of millennials in the workplace and also in my household. And I agree with Tapscott and Godin about the speed and vision with which they move. There’s no question that learning in our future networked society will be very different.
    How fast it will change and in which direction – I wouldn’t like to say.

    • Hi Ara, thanks for this. There are many people (Stehpen, Seth, Sir Ken Robinson, etc) who are all saying that education has not developed anywhere near as fast as technology – to the point where we are still hearing the same old excuses that something can’t be done because of X or Y or Z, but actually it’s because the people in charge or the people behind the policy involved is out of date or not scalable to modern life.

      At some point something will change (see Simon Finch’s keynote from the 2012 PELeCON conference – but until then we are condemning our children (and mine are just coming to school age) to an out-dated education system that prepares them for the exam, not life or modern working practices.


      All the best, David