Maybe I’m a little too fascinated by discussions of how all this networking online might play out in the next decade or so; guess I’m trying to act in the moment in ways that might better prepare me for what’s to come. Which of course is something we should be doing in our schools as well, right? As in trying to figure out what the skills and literacies are that the kids in our classrooms are going to have to grapple with down the road. (Doubting that handwriting is one of them.)
At any rate, from Robert Greco’s most excellent Delicious feed I snagged this link to “Oivallus-A Project on Future Education.” Here we have some Finns, already basking in all of their educational excellence glory, trying to figure out what teaching and learning are going to look like in a “networked economy.” (What a concept.) Not that there is anything earth shattering here, but the idea that Finnish Industries, the European Union, and The Finnish National Board of Education are seeking to “explore and outline progressive operating and learning environments” shows they’re not just resting on their laurels. And the outlines they’re sketching also show that they’re not just thinking about doing what they currently do better. They get that things are changing.
However, one trend is clear: we will respond to the waves of development by networking with and learning from a range of experts and actors in different fields. These systems of interconnected people and organisations are known as learning networks.
And, even better:
Network skills and the ability to obtain, utilise and share knowledge lay the foundations of future work. At best, a learning network can use its extended knowledge-base to identify new opportunities and findÂ solutions for contemporary challenges â€“ the key is to work together with people of different backgrounds and capabilities. Learning from one another and buildingÂ on existing ideas are skills that require practicing. These competences should be developed from early on and throughout education.
Obviously, I think they’re spot on in those assessments. And I’m hoping that when the final report is released later this year, it might generate even more ideas for discussion.
Why aren’t more of us here in the States not seeing these trends and their impact on education more clearly? (Rhetorical question…been there done that.) I know the National Ed Tech Plan gets some ways down this road, and there is some rhetoric along these lines in a few other places, but these ideas aren’t really on the radar in more than a few schools and systems, and certainly they’re not a big part of the national conversation around education. We’re not developing new competencies to fit what is, I think at least, a pretty clear vision of where this road is taking us.
Somehow, we have to get this party started…more on that in a couple of days.