Thomas Frey’s Future of Learning

Really interesting article by futurologist Thomas Frey called ‘The future of Education’. It seems to be a combination between a wish-list and a prediction. It was written nearly 2 years ago and already seems in some respects a little dated (for example cites MySpace as the stand-out social networking site).

There’s a lot to think about here, including a (for me) timely reminder about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but the part that really grabbed me was his vision of a ‘standard courseware unit’ (an hour’s study) and a standard ‘courseware builder’.

So far, so similar to what we have already: a desire to produce standardised ‘learning objects’ using standardised courseware tools. Frey envisions these standards and tools emerging by the action of the market ‘gravitating’ towards particular tools and formats(probably online course authoring sites) in much the same way as youtube and iTunes have become ubiquitous. I’m not sure if this analogy holds water.

Beyond this, Frey’s vision of learning is one which takes place primarily beyond the bounds of educational institution in terms of space, time and organisation.

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