[iDC] Future of learning institutions

Tavia Nyongo tavia.nyongo at gmail.com
Thu Aug 26 16:09:08 UTC 2010


I've followed this summer's conversations with interest from my
current academic perch of co-web editor of the journal Social Text,
where we are trying to expand and redefine what a journal's website
can do. We've just published an online roundtable (link below)
discussing one possible "future" for learning institutions: the
proposals in the UK to introduce measurements of social "impact" into
the assessment of research quality. These proposals are very much in
line with the utilitarian/pragmatic focus George Siemens mentions
below, and the authors approach the current dynamic in the UK (which
is of course shifting rapidly with a new administration) with an eye
to both the dangers and possible opportunities present in the "impact"
agenda. That approach seems in the spirit of discussions regarding the
role technology in learning that are happening on this list.

The link is http://www.socialtextjournal.org/periscope/impact/

Tavia Nyong'o
New York University

George Siemens gsiemens at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 13:14:28 UTC 2010

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Hi all,

First, Happy Canada Day!!!

The Future of Learning Institutions is the last topic of our
discussion. To date, we have rather haphazardly tackled challenges in
education (addressing concerns about cost, techno-determinism, peer
learning, alternative education models such as P2PU).

But...what types of learning institutions do we need? If, as pundits
proclaim, education is "the next bubble to burst" - suggesting a
greater utilitarian/pragmatic focus - who/what will fill the role of
providing liberal arts education? Or have we moved past that stage in
human history? Is the future of learning driven by market and
utilitarian needs?

As we (and institutions such as Educause/Gates foundation's new
initiative) ponder the future of education, we need to define which
elements in education/learning need to be preserved as a basis for a
healthy society. While *change* is ongoing and directionless,
*becoming* requires discussion and exploration.


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