Day 2 futures education course – Trends

Would love your feedback on the list of trends created by my students. I have had a strictly advisory role in the creation of them… in the “i fight but don’t win” kinda way. A pretty solid first day from my perspective. We made a list of trends, we brainstormed, and rebrainstormed and stormed some more. This post describes the work done during the day and then lists the trends that the students came up with. Feel free to add more trends or just make comments.

I started the day by creating a powerpoint of their responses from day one showing them (if they didn’t know) that with all their ideas combined, we could teach a course. community. as. curriculum.

These trends are the meat of the whole exercise. We’ll be using them to talk about our decision making and then going over them to rate them, to cross-examine them, to think about how much control we might have over them and then, finally, what effect they may have on the future.

Intro to trends… what are we looking for in the first place?
We first need to create boundaries around what we mean by trends, by drivers and develop some language to talk about them.What does a trend look like? What would an example of a trend look like?

Brainstorm no. 1.
First list created by students in a brainstorm session. Two students at the board, me stomping around rallying the troops. We did the first list on the white board and then moved to the web. One student suggested that we start with etherpad… which worked very nicely. The students cowrote the early draft of the trends… i’d guess we had close to twenty of them after the first brainstorming session. In retrospect it might have been better if i’d been on the marker encouraging a bit more ‘statement’ and a little less ‘two words’. It might have saved in the editing process.

Insert-able exercise
Future of Singapore in 2015. We watched this video (with the sound off) and tracked the trends that were being described in it. We added the ones we didn’t have to our list…

What is actually different and what is superficially different?

Brainstorm no. 2
Is the list relevant? Is there something else out there? Lets take this list and compare it against the outcomes that are mentioned in the department of education’s future document. What are the trends that are driving us in this direction? Which are the critical trends, which are less involved? Create a new list of things missed in the first list.

Interlude and brainstorm 3. a walk on the wild side.
What potential wildcards are on the horizon?

We watched the apple video from 1987. Talked about some of the comparisons between this and the earlier video. What is knowledge in this world? What does it mean to ‘teach’.

Reviewed list with the group

We added numbers to the trends… a painful process that forced us to demarcate between explanations, thoughts, reasonings and trends.

Review and grades
We then went back into our groups, took 11 trends each and graded them for inevitability and for their impact on education. The groups were also responsible for making them tidy. As you can see from the trends below, i should have said more about format 🙂

Which seem inevitable or pre-determined?
Which forces are most likely to define or significantly change the nature or direction of education?

    big list

  1. The size of computers and other devices are becoming smaller and more portable
  2. The power of computers and other devices are increasing
  3. Capability has become portable.????
  4. An increasing amount of computing tasks will be done on mobile devices, such as PDA, mobile phones, tablet PCs, etc., over desktop type computers
  5. Real-world learning objects are increasingly tagged thus becoming available to the mobile learning community
  6. Work and Play will become increasingly mobile (‘on-the-go’) through the use of multiple resources besides equipment and space
  7. Tied with accessibility. Concerns are two ways, you have more access to the public and the public has more access to you due to portable devices.A, [E] C: open coursewares
  8. Advantages: More work can be done on the go. A,C: efficiency, docs can collaborate w others
  9. Disadvantages: More work is expected to be done on the go (regardless of where you are, what you are doing).A
  10. Portability will lead to learning outside of confined spaces and common schedules towards a more user-determined environment
  11. People expect instantaneous response and feedback to work and assignments
  12. Greater wireless connectivity.
  13. Greater wireless power
  14. More collaborative learning
  15. Trends towards more affordable means of collaboration
  16. Better language translation capabilities
  17. Trends towards outsourcing
  18. People increasing using multiple identities
  19. Growth in Social Networks and use of social networks in professional life
  20. Increased use of Virtual Reality technologies. More adoption in Education specifically healthcare simulation etc.
  21. Trend is towards democratisation of information and human activities, including learning
  22. Realtime time, multiuser communication across borders
  23. Copyrights: Increase in the use of Creative Commons license and it becomes easier to remix content
  24. The trend is towards less use of paper.
  25. The trend is towards more comfortable reading experience off the screen.
  26. The trend is towards more efficient and more secure transmission of data.
  27. The trend is towards more accessible information online.
  28. The trend is towards a more realistic and richer virtual reality experience.
  29. The trend is towards a more pervasive availability of 3D experience, from entertainment to education.
  30. The trend is to attempt to pack in more activities at the same time.
  31. The trend is towards a better ability to scale information larger or smaller.
  32. The trend is towards faster (real-time) online translation.
  33. The trend is to make more location based services available.
  34. The trend is towards easy access to online services e.g. e-doctor
  35. The trend is towards lifestyle-based mobile phone rather than function-based.
  36. The trend is towards technology-enhancing human abilities (eg, Spellchecker, Online Dictionary, Thesaurus.)
  37. Convergence – More devices are moving towards being multifunctional (a mobile phone to call, email, IM, tweet, Google, etc)
  38. Unstructured Learning Environments – People are learning out of the traditional structure by seeking out information on their own instead of having it delivered to them by conventional means (schools, teachers, etc.)
  39. Collaborative Learning – Learning is becoming more collaborative (discussion boards, online forums, social bookmarking, etc.)
  40. Companies like Google and Delicious are organizing data on the Internet for users to find more easily.
  41. People are becoming more trusting of information found on the Internet
  42. New laws and regulations are being drawn up by the Government with regards to the Internet and online communities.

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

26 thoughts on “Day 2 futures education course – Trends”

  1. Dave,

    Great list of trends. I would add that elearning is allowing more people to learn where they live instead of moving to urban centres.

  2. Dave,

    You have a very interesting list of items. However, they all seem to be related to the cause/effect of technology changes. I feel that technology is the “sexy” topic in education and it is easy to get “whisked away” and leave out core elements that truly drive and limit the scope of technology implementations.

    I personally feel [1] structure (standards, daily schedules, mission statements, composition of curriculum, staffing, ect), [2] evaluation (standards, testing for educational progress), [3] government controls (funding, policies, programs, expectations) play a very large role in education.

    I took a quick glance at the iN2015 PDF that was linked and it also listed major categories of Trends to include: Political/Government, Economic, Social. I feel that these items also need to be addressed within the title of “Futures of Education.”

    In the United States, Education K-12 as well as Higher Ed is (3) suffering huge budget cuts from the government. K-12 programs are losing licensed teachers, arts/music/sports programs are being cut, special education for children with additional needs are at risk, teaching assistants are losing positions, administration positions like vice principals are being reduced or eliminated in some schools (one example of many: Higher Ed is having to adjust professor salaries, cut scholarships and grants, implement department and college-level cutbacks. These funding/spending changes will drastically alter the ability of schools to make “bonus” additions of technology implementations on all different levels.

    The United States also (2) poorly evaluates the success of K-12 schools and teachers teachers. They give students standardized tests to measure the performance of the school (interesting opinion: Then, they turn around and use the same results to evaluate the performance of teachers. In reality, they put the hardest students with the highest needs into the classrooms with the best teachers. Students with the best test scores are in classrooms with the worst teachers. The results of these “standardized” outcomes is terribly misleading. Unfairly evaluating instructors cripples makes Education an unattractive field and only stands to hurt the student in the long run.

    The structure of a school and a school system (1) has actually shown to have some of the largest affects on outcomes in K-12 schools. Class sizes, parental involvement, community involvement are all structural factors that play into performance. Some schools have even altered and restructured the traditional model to yield interesting results. The KIPP programs ( which have been known to extend the amount of time kids spend in school, and extending schooling into the summer (American students typically take 3 full months off in the summer before advancing to the next grade level) have shown to increase student performance ( Also, Magnet Schools ( are becoming an interesting trend. Locally in Indianapolis, IN – USA, one township is converting all of their elementary schools to charter Magnets where students will get to attend a themed school after arts or environmental science (

    While technology can change the way we interact, I believe that the largest changes in education will be felt from modifications to structure, evaluation models, and government funding.

    Best of luck with your class and thanks for sharing your work publicly. I hope everyone has a positive experience!

  3. My first impression too, was that the prioritization makes me think “this is all about technology!” What about society? politics? Globalization? What if there were a huge pandemic? What if we hit peak oil? What if the markets collapsed? What if we returned to microlocal vs global focus? These may in fact be greater drivers.

    Mark gives some really practical examples (and probably a heck of a lot more manageable to imagine!)

    For example, in our research about how technology has become intertwined with one learning context – communities of practice – we have noticed some big trends. One of them is the challenge of multimembership. We can theoretically belong to and learn in a nearly limitless set of communities and networks. What does that mean to the depth and breadth of our learning? How we prioritize? HOw might this impact schools?

    One trick for brainstorming. use big post it notes, then you can actually sort and group on a big wall, sort of wiki like. The constraint of the large post it (5×8 inches) forces a bit of clarity of thought and editing (write big for visibility). If you do brainstorming on flip charts, you can use sticky dots – dotmocracy.

  4. Thanks folks,

    Excellent feedback. We’ll integrate that into our review this afternoon. I should have also posted our wildcard list, i suppose, which included some of the ‘black swan’ issues that would give a bit more context to the student responses. But well called, they are ‘mostly’ about technology and not the larger context that technology plays in. When i think about my guidance in the class i think that I spent too much time making them focus on the ‘technological change’ in circumstances where they would say something like “we are moving to more real time communications”. I was concerned that we were not being specific enough (as we’ve been doing ‘real time’ communications for several million years) and i think that led to a technological focus that wasn’t entirely present in the classroom discussions.

    Thanks again for the help. I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

  5. Hi Dave,

    Hope you’re enjoying Singapore! Please say hello to the fine Ngee Ann folks (I imagine there are a few in the class that I met at the college).

    I’ll second what others have already said – the list is fairly technically focused…

    The key for me in these types of lists (and in the points Nancy introduces) is how the various pieces connect to form a larger, more complex, system. If each trend is a node, what are the patterns of connectedness they exhibit? Taken together, what image do these trends create? What pieces are missing? What about the soft elements (social), the black swans, etc.?

    The key doesn’t lie so much in identifying the patterns, but rather in identifying how the elements are related to each other…


  6. The trends in the future should not really refer to just technologies, because the philosophy behind them, and the social drivers that underpin such trends.

    In George, Mark, and Nancy’s comments they were all were looking at the more holistic context of the trends. Nancy even commented, “My first impression too, was that the prioritization makes me think “this is all about technology!” What about society? politics? Globalization? ” And this is really how I felt about yesterday’s discussion. Although it is thrilling to divine the future, there is really a disconnect on what is happening on the ground…I struggled to demontrate to myself how is it going to help my students. In my mind, the question that was running is how do trends like “portability” and “accessibility” affect the way my student slearn and the way that I teach.
    In today’s discussion of teaching complex tasks, the main learning point I had was on the differentiation of complex and simple tasks and I seem to disagree with David on some issues especially on the definition of the word “complex”. Fromt he context of the discussion, complex tasks are the ones that are imbued with decision making processes, and in fact, continuous decision making throughout the process makes for a more complex task rather than a one-off, singular decision made at the start of the task. A task that requires a cycle of assessment, adjustment, reassessment is one that requires experience and therefore probably less inclined to technological based teaching than the one with a big decision at the beginning followed by many steps (that maybe confusing and therefore misconstrued as complex) but in fact mechanical. The latter maybe more technologically suitable (well, at the current level of technology at least).
    Philosophically, the role of the teacher is again challenged or at least questioned–are we nannies that pre-digests information and simplifying them for our students prior to their consumption? Or are we navigator-guides that point them to the right areas of learning? Are we colleagues int he learn process, learning side-by-side and giving support when needed (like sidekicks)? Or are we the traditional vessels of knowledge that fills the students’ empty cups?

  7. Mark talks about the constraints that schools system has with funding being cut etc. I think we have to re-evaluate the way we run schools or how we design them. Major part of the funds go into actual facility maintenance and logistics. We must start looking at distributed and shared campuses, the city as a school and systems such as for regular subjects. Sourcing tutors from somewhere faraway might not be acceptable to some but I would argue that it helps the students work with a different culture and that is a good thing.

    On Nancy’s question of prioritization, I don’t think multi-membership is a big problem. People will prioritize based on their needs. We have some experience in South East Asia where people have no choice but to learn via such informal groups as no formal alternatives are available. People are able to pick and choose the community depending on their needs. Also the breadth and depth of learning depends on your project or need at the moment. If you have a good basic understanding of a concept and you know where the experts you can tap on are, then that is a good start.

  8. I would agree with Mark and Nancy. As a class we focused on the direct effects that technology have on the education, or to be precise, on the way the activities in the classroom have changed. We have missed critical indirect effects that technology might have on education. Education is changing the society, politics and possibly our values & norms and these changes will indirectly cause a recursive chain of changes (Technology changes society which changes politics which changes Education with in turn changes society etc.)

    I would like to focus on two points:
    [1] Technology will influence & change society’s values. These inturn will change the public opinion about Education. The trend i foresee is that the public will want to have a direct influence of how education is conducted and the policies & constraints that frames education. I foresee that public opinion will play a big part in governing the country: it’s laws, policies & budget. Government will be under pressure to empower the people to propose & vote for laws, policies etc.

    [2] As a class, we forgot to consider the social goals that an education institute has beyond its economic & epistemic goals. Martin Luther King said that the ‘Goal is Education is not Intelligence but Character”. Technology MAY be taking away opportunities for the teacher to instill those values to a K12 students if it decreases the amount of face to face contact hours a teacher have with the student. How much values can be instilled for distance education? Imagine if a K12 student is perfectly able to use a PC and navigate the internet, would you send this student for a distance education? I think that while discussing the positive effects of how technology is influencing education, we must not forget the main goal of education else we might find ourselves in a future that we ended up regretting.
    “Education without values only makes man a clever devil” – C.S. Lewis

  9. The first thing we have to settle about futures thinking are the basic observable trends that is around us. And this will involve concrete technological discoveries, phenomenon or concepts that eventually get translated into products and methods. So we had to start somewhere.

    Having settled that issue, or at least, taken a first stab at it, we can then proceed to consider the macro view, and try to piece some of the technologies within the context of specific environments, for example, social interaction, education, business, etc. This is something that Mark, Nancy and George correctly points out as aspects that are missing in the discussion thus far. One of the problems is that we forget that there is this process that has to be taken, of settling the ground, to get everybody ‘on the same page’ before we move on.

    And when we do move on, we then consider macro issues, or tie the technological trends to issues of life and experience, and the trends that are taking place there (e.g. evaluation models, government funding, structure (Nancy)). This is more complex as the issues necessarily differ due to the contexts, environment and assumptions. Point in case, in Singapore, we do not face issues of funding cuts in education. Rather, in Singapore, the government is pumping substantial resources into growing the education sector, with specialised schools, another government-funded University, etc. Singapore has embraced globalisation in the manner that it wants to attract the best educational institutions to Singapore’s shores and people from around the region to ‘buy into’ its educational system. Obviously this will differ among countries and societies. Singapore is not a very large place, geographically. And education requires space. But can the issue of space be resolved somewhat or totally using the appropriate technologies (e.g. eLearning, telecommuting, etc.). So we will need to bring contexts into our discussion on technology in education and any future technology that might come on-stream.

    When we reach this point, we can then look forward and consider, within the contexts of educational trends, societal trends, issues, problems etc. what probably will happen and how new technology might feed into education and vice versa.

  10. As a student in the class, I have to say, I see what Nancy White and George Siemens are saying and I completely missed out the socio-political aspects of trends when I was thinking of future trends.

    My thinking of the future is so much skewed towards technology and high-tech equipment that I completely forgot that we could possibly be in the midst of a global meltdown in terms of natural resources running out, drastic climate change, marked increase in natural disasters over a concentrated period of time, etc. These seem to be trends in themselves but because I’ve been “conditioned” to think of the future and future trends as a Star Trek / Star Wars future of touchscreens, iPads and holodecks, these other trends aren’t readily apparent to me and until they were mentioned by Nancy. Peak oil and pandemics will have a greater impact on technology than if Apple release the iPhone 4G or 5G or 25G, for example, so why aren’t I thinking of that? Good call, Nancy.

    The trend of multi-membership is also one I found interesting; it’s something we mentioned when we talked about social networks in Point 19 (Growth in Social Networks and use of social networks in professional life) but didn’t really dwell much upon. I do think, though, that these will have a huge impact on the way people learn just because the breadth and scope of our educational resources have multiplied tenfold in the last ten years or so. Of course, this comes with it’s own difficulties. It calls up the problems of multiple identities (something we listed) as well as multi-tasking (the DREADED word). Does it make us more productive? Arguably, yes. Does it reduce the quality of the product? Arguably also, yes. But maybe that’s the age we’re moving into – the cookie-cutter, processed, packaged and served-in-a-pill age.

    With Mark’s comments, I agree how he feels that we need to look more at the macro view of structures, evaluation models and government funding instead of the “sexy” technological aspects. I think these are there and I certainly am aware of them but I think we’re just picking out the micro details and working out the macros (which are always fairly constant and easy to identify but HARD to change) later. I don’t think it’s good to ignore them but I think them not being there in that list doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about them.

    Finally, my favourite point (brought up by George and Nancy) is about patterns. I imagine everything we’re talking about, the socio-political, the technological, even the people themselves are intertwined in some strange way. It’s complicated to map and I don’t have a clue how to start (I’m sure you’ll guide us along, Dave – be gentle) and we’ve only got 4 days but I like thinking that everything is connected and with enough thinking, we can see the big picture emerge.

    I guess this pattern thing to me, is kinda like watching the TV show, Lost. I’m confused yet excited yet fearful but I know (I hope) the ending’s going to pay off in some big connected pattern (my apologies if you haven’t seen Lost – where have you been?!)

  11. I agree with the comments made by Mark about the structure, government funding and evaluation models. The social, political and economic factors will have a grave impact on the trends and directions in technology as pointed by Nancy and George too.

    In Singapore, most if not all the educational institutions are under the Ministry of Education. The policies are set by them and what can be done is also governed by the funding that the government allocates from the whole budget for the country.
    If there is no money, as mentioned by Mark about the United States suffering budget cuts, then schools will examine their cost and benefit analysis as to whether the cost of teachers, or online courseware will be used in the delivery of classes.
    Further, if the country is in a debt crisis, it cannot invest in the information communication infrastructure to allow such technology to be delivered. This can be seen in the underdeveloped countries where we see a digital divide. They are concerned about their next meal and staying alive. No handphones or computers in possession to communicate.
    Fortunately, our government values education and technology in keeping us ahead of the competition and has drawn up policies like IN2015 and provided a big budget for information communication technology development. We have the Future Schools project for selected Primary and Secondary Schools to try out the technology for education. The tertiary institutions are also heavily invested in information technology for research and development for educational purposes.
    For instance, when we had the SARs incident, all schools were closed for 3 days. Therefore, classes via the information technology was a great help.
    Singapore is a very small country with a population of about 4-6 million and having all households fitted with broadband width becomes more manageable. However, due to our small size and proximity for students to schools, it makes it less palatable for students to receive lessons through e-learning. A big investment has been made in building schools and technology to make teaching and learning more interesting, efficient and effective.
    In Singapore, the number of handphones and sms have been increasing tremendously because of the decreasing costs of owning and using a handphone. Places where it is costly to sms e.g. USA, the rate of sms use is much less.
    Some of the trends that we discussed are also driven by external forces and we are therefore pulled along to stay ahead.
    It will take some time, innovation and ease of use of technology and costs, for some of the trends to be realised. Although most of it as mentioned above are becoming quite visible as information technology devises and applications become much more user friendly and affordable.

    People of different ages also adapt to information communication technology take on to it at different rates.
    Our government plays a critical role in tapping on technology to advance the country’s progress. They are serious about it and does provide funding and measures to achieve the policies stated in the Future of Singapore in 2015.

    Best regards,


  12. I am trying to categorize the various pieces of the elements which we mentioned together. There are three aspects:

    A. Hardware aspect
    B. Software aspect
    C. Social/Human aspect

    On A:

    It includes the hardware technology that we mentioned in the list.

    The system centred around the energy provider which supply power need for the functioning of the various communication infrastructure built and distributed world wide. This model does not include countries with lagging communication infrastructure.

    Users use communication equipment with processing and storage capability participated in the creation and sharing of information.

    System disturbances: Natural disasters, oil crisis, communication hardware crashes etc.

    On B:

    It includes the programs/software that we mentioned in the list.

    Operating Systems [OS] form the bases for all communication hardware.

    Communication software developed according to standard IP protocol [ISO model]

    Thousands of applications according to interests and functionality built on top of the OS and the communication software for information creation and sharing.

    On C:

    It includes the content creation/community group behaviour/social changes that we mentioned in the list.

  13. Response to Luc Comeau:
    True, but not in the case of Singapore, where it’s so small.

    Response to Mark Gbur:
    Agree with Mark that the scope is more towards the cause and effect style, of a bigger picture. Which i think that’s the reason why most of the scoring for the trends in terms of whether it’s inevitable and the impact is high, well at least initially.

    If you are talking about Singapore’s context, the iN2015 is a vision that the government has for the nation. I believe there some very good reasons behind this. Firstly, as a regional hub in Southeast Asia, and probably Asia, we need to equip ourselves technologically as a nation, to continue to attract more talents and investments. Secondly, to be on par or to compete with our counterparts, our citizens need to be tech savvy. By tech savvy, I’m referring to how to engage technology to enhance our lifestyle, which is the primary reason of being for Technology.

    In view of this, this vision has large implications affecting infrastructure, education, training and development of working adults. For infrastructure, for example, we aim to have wi-fi access readily available everywhere, 24/7. In response, TELCOs start offering data plans for full mobility. For education (and also in response to Nancy), primary schoolers are learning to use the internet to search for information. As compared to 12 years ago, I learnt how to surf and search for info as University freshman. Now, my students can attain the same information that I can online. Now is that fair? In the past, you need to be rich in order to own a set encyclopedia for you to “show off” your clever answers the next day to the class when your teacher sent you homework. Now, the competition is about who clicks the fastest, and whose answers are more reliable/ credible. The scope of teaching has shifted to content-based to more facilitation and on how to better make use of the vast information available. Most, if not all, schools/ institutes are fully wi-fi. The libraries are subscribing to more ejournals, than hardcopy periodicals. The list goes on. For training and development, let’s just say if you do not know how log on to the web, you’re less likely to be a white-collar worker. And in Singapore, almost all blue-collar jobs are taken up by foreigners. To support local citizens, the government also grants or funds companies for professional upgrading, for courses related to the IT industry.

    My point is there are trends that are directly related to the rise of technology, and there are trends indirectly related but have a larger impact to our lives. The rise of technology is a movement, is a phenomenon that cannot be stop. However, what’s important is also to think about how can our lives be changed or affected 20, 30, 50 years down the road after the impact. Are we going to have a better lifestyle, or actually worse? Dave’s terminology of the post-digital reminded me of the movie Wall-E, where the humans are living completed “wasted” lifestyle on another planet, where everything is remotely controlled and use of muscles is almost redundant.

  14. The structure, evaluation and funding of education is largely driven by the government (except for private instituitions but then there is still a level of control which is in itself another discussion) in S’pore. The trends that we listed can be interpreted as the cause/effect of technological advancement but I think these drive the changes that are experienced in the education system here. And when we educate or train our students using technology, there is the likelihood that they will then bring the use of these tools or “skills” to their workplaces since they are familiar with them having used them in school. I think this is how the government envisions this. It is in the context of bringing the country into globalization, so that no one gets left behind in technology.

    Multimembership helps the student to explore various fields and especially for Asian students (most tend to be shy), these are platforms for them to voice opinions or even ask questions. These students know that their participation/actions can be assessed or critiqued by others but somehow they are more comfortable online rather than in the classroom. So, I would encourage students to explore and expand participation as part of their learning (and take prioritization in their stride).

  15. We are not denying the fact that other factors (like society, political, government, policies, etc) are not affecting education. The manner that the brainstorming session yesterday was structured in such a way that we were picking up the trends from a Technology viewpoint (by watching the video). The list identifies how the trend of technology will influence the education in one way or another.

    I agree somehow that the list may not be exhaustive. That is intentionally designed that way, isn’t it? Brainstorming does not bring us to the end-point, brainstorming gives us the starting point for discussion and refinement. I hope we will be fine-tuning the list in the following ways:
    • Categorization (putting related trends together as a group)
    • Merging or eliminate some points (some points are somehow duplicated)
    • Insertion of new trends (if we have missed out)

    There is something in my opinion, not so explicitly addressed in the list, was “how Web 2.0 affects education”. Technology advances and we are not restricted to the conventional classroom environment, whereby education is uni-directional. Web 2.0 introduces a concept that everybody is learning from everybody. If this is the way to go, how would Web 2.0 affects us (as educators)? Do we need to re-structure all our teaching materials? How would that affect the assessment systems? Is the current IT infrastructure able to address the needs of the huge increased number of content contributors? These are questions we need to address.

  16. I am still a traditional believer that education is meant for evolving of society towards better value and ethics.

    Technology trend changes the behavior of our daily lifestyle [which many mentioned] and if it is meant for the better well being of our society.

    The trends prediction is always based on our current scene and happenings. There might be another Steve Jobs which comes in anytime and makes another revolution that affects our lifestyle and technology in no time….

    In our Ngee Ann campus, with the technology already existed, there is a gap in achieving full fledge of providing our learners their preferred choices of their PLE to attained the same qualification.

  17. Wow, I just got back from a late dinner/conversation about citizen journalism to find all these great comments. I have to leave my thoughtful reading until the morning, but I have to say, it sure looks like you are all having a fabulous interaction in Singapore! Applause from Seattle!

  18. In Singapore, the trend is government will still control the education from primary to university. The way the students are evaluated are mainly based on written exam at the end of semester now and in the future. Outside the institutions, the learning is not limited by locations. About 4 years ago I was surprised to see my son doing breakdance in youtube. I did not know that he has been learning it from watching it in youtubes.

  19. Hello from Dave’s stomping grounds on the east coast of Canada.

    It’s interesting and rewarding to see the shift from IT to the wider contexts in which IT acts in the latest contributions to the discussion. In the sense that educational systems are designed environments to achieve deliberate ends, they are technologies. Equally important as the technologies themselves are the values and beliefs they are intended to embody and the ends they are expected to serve. Separate them at your peril! John Chua’s note is moving towards this: “I am still a traditional believer that education is meant for evolving of society towards better value and ethics.” Patrice Choon’s reference to M.L. King points out much the same thing.

    I would argue that we as educators need to look at the “technology of education” in terms of the wider trends and challenges that face the globe. Work in multiliteracies by The New London Group argues that the implications of globalization and technology are what education must respond to. Jim Cummins argues that educators should be using technology as part of pedagogies that address the inequities of power in the wider society that play themselves out in the classroom. Both these examples illustrate the connection I’m thinking about.

    One final point prompted by Red Mendoza’s reference to complex tasks and Leslie Tan’s to a “cookie-cutter-age” is that ill-defined, complex problems are those intrinsic to future well-being and therefore of greatest importance to society and education. The ability to work collaboratively on these is critical: the technologies do exist to support this kind of work. Students need to learn to work on complex problems: “cookie-cutter” education is no longer adequate (if it ever was!).

    Best of luck with the remainder of your course!


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