eLearningeuropa info: eLearning paper no. 18. New Learning for a New Society

eLearning Papers n° 18 http://www.elearningpapers.eu/index.php?page=fix&id=2
New Learning for a New Society

When Manuel Castells wrote his book on the Internet Galaxy in 2001 we could already see that knowledge and learning would become a major asset of future societies and economies, and that disruptive digital technologies were going to enable this societal transformation. But we did not have a clear view by then on how technologies would revolutionize the way we process information, share knowledge and learn. We still considered learning as a mental process of the individual trying to internalize information. Now, in 2010, we can see that learning is enhanced by technology as it evolves into a shared process of communities trying to externalize information and co-create new knowledge, which is quite the opposite of the pre-digital era. We knew that the Internet would bring a new society, a society in which participation would replace representation. But we did not know how new technologies such as augmented reality and real virtuality would facilitate the access and the processing of information by using devices as simple spectacles, providing us with virtual overlays on our physical environment or even providing a total virtuality. Labs were already into creating the first holograms, but it took some years to see the first prototypes, making it clear that not only scarcity of information and communication were reduced by technologies, but also scarcity of presence. Physical presence will not only be complemented, but also extended by 3D virtual presence. Technologies will continue to have their impact on learning processes and communication patterns. The relation between learning and technology has known succeeding phases, beginning with the substitution of old processes through the computer-based learning, followed by multiplayer learning environments, and currently evolving into the transformation of the learning processes, supporting both individuals and communities to learn on demand. Traditional schools and universities will become hubs in ‘rings’ of connected institutions providing personalised learning services for full-time and part-time students, linking the working life to the academia, thus bridging the gap between the corporate sector and science institutions. Many contents will be accessible for free through open resources. As learning becomes increasingly lifelong, its achievements are valued and recognised independently from the nature of the learning process, be it formal or informal. In this special issue you will find ideas and reports of colleagues who have been working to bring the above mentioned visions closer to reality. They reflect the current situation of learning environments and present ideas on the requirements and consequences of the transformation of learning that is taking place today.
Wim Veen, Jordi Riera Romaní, Tapio Koskinen

eLearning Papers is a publication of elearningeuropa.info, European Commission’s portal for promoting the use of ICT for lifelong learning


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