Education in the Digital Age

 
 

Author: Dan Petrovic, http://dejanseo.com.au

During our exhibition at CCA-Educause, Sydney our team (who sponsored the event) had pleasure of meeting many delegates, librarians, educators and presenters. Increased awareness of fast-moving technological trends resonated throughout the event, yet we felt that the momentum of traditional educational practices is too great for educators to make a timely turn in the right direction.

Richard N. KatzAs a Griffith University alumni I was pleased to see my university concerned with the future of education and was compelled to attend the first annual Friends of the Library public lecture  titled “Education in the Digital Age”. Richard N. Katz, the guest lecturer, delivered an insightful presentation with many progressive ideas and interesting near-future predictions for education. Mr Katz started of with an overview of technological advancements in education starting from the very beginnings and invention of movable type. The tone of the lecture was established with a powerful quote by Sir Arthur C. Clarke:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

The lecture continued in the fashion of current changes in academia highlighting the fact that our world has become a small place and borders of education and being erased. Mr Katz brings to our attention another fascinating concept – Intelligent Content and poses the question: “What is the role of an educator in the environment where the learning material has the capacity to guide the student.”, a powerful statement indeed. Virtual reality and augmented reality are not new concepts, says Mr Katz, however they did not establish mainstream practice until now due to technological limitations. We are at a breaking point where technology can in fact support reality augmentation in a practical sense as well as being commercially viable. This will likely lead to rise in distance learning and bring different academic groups together in a global collaborative learning environment (Learning is Everywhere).

quote open“Mobile phones are misnamed. They should be called ‘gateways to all human knowledge.’” quote close211; Ray KurzweilImplication of technology on learning are countless and not all of them are positive. How do educators combat the problem of quality and validity of curriculum in unorthodox learning platforms? As an example take the level of trust Wikipedia has as a freely editable human knowledge repository, or edutainment, or even guerrilla learning platforms which seem quite radical in comparison to traditional methods of delivery.

The Future of Education is in Search?

During the lecture Mr Katz mentions rapid development of the web and points at Google numerous times. Search is arguably the most rapidly developing technology today which managed to subtly embed into a daily routine of not only students, academics and educators but everyday people.

During the CCA-Educause Dejan SEO team surveyed conference delegates on whether search should be taught in schools, courses and universities. According to those surveyed, search skills are typically an optional help service offered by university libraries (much like academic writing help) and most believe that search deserves greater attention.

Dynamic Knowledge

In the environment where there are no borders and everyone has access to technology we experience an unprecedented amount of published information, some much to valuable to be ignored by academic circles, some at the other hand is absolute rubbish. To add to the complexity of the problem we’re starting to experience “real-time knowledge” being published by the new class of information producer/consumer individual – known as “the prosumer”.

Conclusion

Both educators and search engines face a big challenge: moderation, delivery and preservation of the global and real-time human knowledge.

In summary presentation covered the following slide titles:

  1. Intro
  2. Arguing Skeptics
  3. The Digital Age
  4. Recombinant Academia
  5. Vanishing Academic Borders
  6. Intelligent Content
  7. Augmented Reality
  8. Learning Everywhere
  9. Learning About Learning
  10. Implications
  11. Transformation or Transmogrification?
  12. Distance is Dead
  13. The Tower and the Cloud
  14. The World’s Gone Global
  15. Talent is Key (and Global)
  16. Uncertainty is Certain
  17. Education is Being Consumerised
  18. And There are Barbarians at the Gate
  19. Small Fish vs Big Fish
  20. Edupunks, Edupreneurs…or…
  21. Academic Course and Program Aggregators
  22. Gigantiversity
  23. Education Fabric
  24. The Metaversity
  25. Education Fabric: How does it work?
  26. Personalisation and Scale
  27. Return of the Itinerant Scholars a.k.a. Free Agents
  28. Conclusion

About the Author

Dan Petrovic is the director of Dejan SEO a successful search engine optimisation company based in the Brisbane Techology Park. He is a proud Griffith University alumni and futurist at heart. Outside search Dan’s interests are in technology, science and education. Dan is also a passionate speaker who has presented in front of a diverse audience in both academic and professional sectors. To get in touch please call 1300 123 736 or visit his website: http://dejanseo.com.au/

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    Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry.

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