Saturday, December 20, 2008

The future of learning

After reading this blog post on The Future of the Web, I realized that perhaps I should actually write down the things I've been saying over the course of this year about the future of learning. The end of the year is usually when people start making predictions, and since I'm constantly talking to people about my predictions for what learning will look like in 5, 10, 20 years, I'm ready to put my predictions out there for comments, praise, and here goes. For what they're worth, here are my thoughts on the future of learning...

Within 5 years:
-The majority of the population will have some experience engaging with online content as an avatar
-All Fortune 500 companies will have some implementation of virtual worlds, most likely as a tool for learning and collaboration
-Social networking tools will routinely be used as tools for developing learning communities
-Serious games, simulations, and immersive learning environments will be standard additions to corporate learning curriculum
-Print training modules will no longer be developed and "printed" but will be delivered through interactive and searchable online tools
-Conferences will all incorporate online components, with sessions held virtually and incorporating social media for community building and discussion

Within 10 years:
-The K12 educational system, higher education, and corporate learning will all incorporate virtual worlds as a daily tool integrated into how students and employees learn
-Curriculum will revolve more closely around user-generated content, development of learning communities, and social media
-Knowledge management for enterprise will be dynamic and fluid, facilitated and monitored by the organization but developed and maintained by the learning communities within organizations
-With the capacity to develop experiential learning, performance objectives will usurp learning objectives and ROI (or ROE) will routinely be measured for learning initiatives based on cost savings, revenue generation, decreased turnover, etc.

Within 20 years:
-There will be complete interoperability between the now often divergent learning systems--LMSs, knowledge management, assessment, social media/networks
-People will routinely be immersed in virtual worlds and virtual content online
-People will have an online "identity" which will include an avatar representation that is used to engage with content across the web
-Virtual reality environments will replace 3D immersive environments, allowing for even more experiential learning

I'm sure that I'll be surprised about which of these predictions happen a lot faster than I think, and which of them never materialize. I'm also sure that there will be some amazing breakthrough innovations that I can't imagine that will change the game completely

I'm also pretty sure that I'm going to be really excited to be a hologram someday.

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