Magazine article Technology & Learning

Big Picture: In His New Book the World Is Open, Author Curtis J. Bonk Makes Bold Predictions about a More Personalized Age of Learning. below Are a Few Highlights

Magazine article Technology & Learning

Big Picture: In His New Book the World Is Open, Author Curtis J. Bonk Makes Bold Predictions about a More Personalized Age of Learning. below Are a Few Highlights

Article excerpt

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THE EMERGENCE OF LIFELONG SUPER E-MENTORS AND E-COACHES

Everyone will need and likely have an electronic coach or e-mentor. By 2020, there will be access to learning gurus who understand the innumerable learning pathways available on the Web. These super e-mentors and e-coaches will be knowledgeable in counseling as well as human developmental psychology, providing timely advice about one's learning journeys and future paths. At first, such super e-mentors will spring up in high schools and higher education institutions. But as time goes by, many of them will serve a societal function, not simply an institutional or programmatic role. And they will be available lifelong.

QUARTER-CENTURY LEARNING CLUBS

The average years of formalized education will continue to lengthen. At some point in the next two or three decades, the standard twelve-year educational obligation will double. As we live longer and have more information requirements to absorb and ultimately master in order to be a specialist or a generalist, we will need to devote more time to learning. Two or three generations from now, ending college at age twenty-eight or thirty will no longer be a luxury for a small percentage of the population; it will be expected of nearly every contributing member of the planet.

TERABYTE LEARNING ACCESS POINTS

Within two or three years, most of us will have access to encyclopedias of knowledge on our wristwatches and mobile phones. Terabytes of information and knowledge off-loaded to a nearby mobile device will free up mental capacity for creative thoughts and collaborations. It also allows learners to participate, if only casually, in an activity on a particular topic or engage in a conversation as needed.

THE VENERATION OF LEARNING

During these societal shifts, learning will become more important than stock market reports, the weather, sports, or the daily news. Reports on new resources or innovative tools from which to learn will become part of daily life. In the twenty-first century, learning is the essence of being human.

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PERSONALIZATION + PORTFOLIOS

Humankind will come to realize that learning customization and personalization is the norm, not the exception. Web 2.0 technologies and learning plans push us toward the creation of personalized learning environments. Fairly soon, such options will be accessible through simple pointing or voice comments and, perhaps one day soon, by mere thinking. Learner excitement will heighten when learning style options can be juxtaposed so that students can simultaneously see, hear, feel, and perhaps even taste the learning. Along the way, any resulting learning will be captured in individual learning portfolios.

THE SELECTION OF GLOBAL LEARNING PARTNERS

As present technologies such as ePals, Ning, and Facebook have hinted, within a decade every learner on this planet will have a colearner or colearners in another part of the planet. These learning partners will be connected in ways never before imagined. Already learners give presentations or write books and papers with those in other parts of the world. What is different is that as this becomes standard practice, there will be chances to dramatically change how we deliver courses, programs, and education in general. …

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