Education Out of the Box

I was given an opportunity to provide a presentation at VU’s Metro West for Learning Agenda, an ambitious start up create by Professor Siew Fang Law, which aims to shake up the way in which learning happens. It is a super exciting initiative which I’m very keen to be part of as it grows.

It gave me the chance to reflect on the various emerging issues, trends and developments that are potentiating change in the domain of learning / teaching / education.

At first I considered doing “Futures of Education” as a topic, but then realized this was a bit too broad for me, and what I was proposing was a particular metaphor of how education could be different, what I titled “Education out of the box”.

In the talk I discuss how six issues have implications for the futures of education:

1.     The global knowledge commons

2.     Localized peer to peer platforms

3.     Problem solving sustainability challenges

4.     Shifts in values orientations

5.     Cyber currencies and local credit systems

6.     Online maps and augmented reality

In it, I do not prescribe or even predict a particular future for education – I argue that these elements provide a space of potential for creating alternative futures of learning, which can be taken in multiple directions.

I also draw on Prof. Sohail Inayatullah’s idea of the Used Future, a powerful idea via Critical Futures Studies and his Six Pillars methodology that allows us to unpack the existing legacy of images of the future that may be holding us back, to create space for the new.

As an aside, while the talk was scripted, I experimented with presenting visual slides, and this being an audio-only artifact, there is some context missing  for those who were not there, and my apologies for this.

Acknowledgements belong to many, Dr. Siew Fang Law, Gareth Priday and Dr. Tim Mansfield as research collaborators at the Smart Services CRC, Ari Panagiotou at the EarthWatch Institute, the work of Dr. Inayatullah and M. Bauwens and co at the P2P Foundation, and others.