As my research came to a close there was so many things I wanted to blog about and share, consequently I chose to hone in on the past and future of education and learning. I found myself concentrating on ‘cyber learning’ and the communication 2.0 phenomenon, terms coined to explain the conception of the near future of knowledge.
It is estimated that by the end of the year 46.1% of the global population will be online, where 75% of users live in the top 20 countries, and the remaining 25% scattered across the other 178 countries. Efforts has been taken by national governments to ‘create infrastructure that will meet the needs of a global digital economy (Mutula 2011, p.17). With the UN’s International Telecommunication Union report stating that this number will increase to 60% in the next 10 years. The ‘global digital village’ is becoming a reality, however most agree that there is a major ‘digital divide’ that needs a global solution.
Bridging this divide will allow society to tap into what Zuckerberg defines as a ‘global knowledge economy’, which envisions worldwide prosperity through global sharing and access to the Internet. The lack of developed infrastructure and cost of connection has mean that a majority of the 3rd world countries are not connected, and as a result have become socially excluded. Both the UN and UNESCO have stated that access to the internet is a human right, and agree that ‘prioritizing access to the internet is key moving forward, as Human development and digital access go hand in hand’ (Birstall 2011, p.22).
The importance placed on improving and spreading digital literacy (currently globally at 37%) has been noted as one of the key factors to improve the education in the next 15 years.
Another important factor is the improvement of information/learning technology. Through my research I found 4 theories that underpin the development of technology over time, they are Moore’s Law, Fiber Law, Disk Law and Community Law.
With this immense proliferation of technology booming, we are entering what I can only describe as ‘Communication 2.0’. In the education sector, academics have seen a move to ‘cyber learning’ which is a term coined to reflect the important shift in approach to educational technology (Montfort & Brown 2013, p. 94). What could the future of educational technology look like? Below is one imagining.
Birstall, S. A & W.F, 2011, Geography Matters: Mapping Human Development and Digital Access, First Monday, issue 10, vol10, p. 22 -23
Mutula , S.M 2011, Introduction, in Globalisation of the Digital Economy, IGI Global University of Botswana, pp. 17 – 25
Montfort, D.B & Brown, S 2013, ‘What do we mean by Cyberlearning: Characterizing a Socially Constructed Definition with Experts and Practitioners’, in Journal of Science Education Technology, vol 22, pp. 90 – 102