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What is the future of education? A request for help

It’s impossible to see the future of education from a single perspective. Many voices, many ideas, and many perspectives are required. While the future can’t be predicted, it can be somewhat anticipated by extrapolating current trends and innovations.

Dave Cormier and I are offering an open course on the Future(s) of Education, starting in April. Dave has an introduction based on a workshop he is running in Singapore next week. I’ve co-taught courses with Dave in the past and while we irritate each other, he has a keen, critical, and creative mind. Which means it’s always a great experience for me.

We need your help, according to the Levine/Norman playbook of getting others to do your work for you. Could you post a video/drawing/audio recording/dance routine/cave drawing/clay pot that represents your vision of the future of education?

Please tag your contribution with #edfuture and let Dave and I know via Twitter (Dave=@davecormier, George=@gsiemens) or drop a link in the comments here.


  1. This video seems to have caught the attention of many…

    If further clarification can be seen in my video responses to this video. The most interesting part of this video is the amount of discussion it has created.

    Key point…schools cannot be silos from the rest of the world or the internet.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  2. Chris Fritz wrote:

    If I had to choose a single text for a course like this, I think it would be Rethinking Education In The Age Of Technology, by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson. It’s based heavily on research, at least touches on many of my favorite ideas, but most importantly, gives a broad overview of why we need a different kind of education now than we have in the past.

    Here are also some links I think you may find useful:



    I hope that helps! Good luck on your course. :-)

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Robin Good wrote:

    Here my thoughts on a four-item recipe for looking at learning without schools:

    Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 3:30 am | Permalink
  4. Hi! Here is my brainstorming!

    Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink
  5. I’ve recently started blogging about the longer term future of Universities. A humble blog, but great ambitions.
    The posting may or may not be of use, but I have been flagging material from various RSS feeds for some time now, so in the widget on the right is a fair collection of links to things I thought relevant to the general theme of the Future of the University.

    First post (from late last year)
    Nails colours to mast, as it were.


    Rob Cosgrave

    Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink
  6. Gary Lewis wrote:

    The US National Education Technology Plan 2010 was released in draft form on 05-March-2010. It might be useful for the futures course. The url to a page of NETP resources, including the plan (pdf), is:

    Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink
  7. I’m not sure if you have seen this, but I’d recommend the Beyond Current Horizons project and associated materials produced by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (here in the UK) together with Futurelab. There are a range of resources, including scenario planning tookits, and various materials to initiate discussions with different groups. All here:

    Friday, March 19, 2010 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  8. Timothy Bolin wrote:

    I am a 51 year old retired Army veteran that is now in a Masters of Teaching Program. I’m curious, how do you all feel about the older education law NCLB and what is going to happen now with the new policies being implemented on education. You know things like assessment, teaching to the standards, LD students, and teachers, administration, schools being on the hook for what the students do on the tests.

    Friday, March 19, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink
  9. This is a shameless plug for a book I’m helping to promote (but trying to do so organically). It’s called DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education by Anya Kamenetz. My name should link to it.

    The author encourages students to take charge of their own education and gives a lot of resources (many of which I’m sure you’re familiar with) for this including lists of Universities that offer online classes and Open Course Materials. She outlines how the current forms of higher ed simply don’t help most students, and how technology opens many fascinating new doors.

    Friday, March 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink
  10. Here is my response:
    Thanks George for your insights. I have also written numerous posts on the future of education on my blog. Hope I could share and contribute more.

    Friday, March 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  11. Roy Williams wrote:

    One way of looking at the future is to focus on what looks like a major and ongoing shift in the way teaching and learning is resourced, and the way it happens.

    In a response to a discussion on Clouds, I sketched out a rough trends analysis from 1990 to 2020, of six functions that are changing, and will continue to change in the next 10 years. The changes can be mapped out on a spectrum form 100% contribution by Formal Teaching and Publishing Institutions on the one hand, to 100% contribution by Networked Learning Communities on the other hand.

    The six functions are described and mapped out in a diagram (see here: ).

    Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink
  12. Gary Lewis wrote:

    No doubt you’ve already seen Tim O’Reilly’s talk about the future of higher education. But, just in case, the url is:

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink
  13. Not sure, but something tells me that it will involve students using personal, wireless devices to answer questions or provide solutions on the fly, learning to prioritize workload, and research answers in a way that closely resembles the modern workplace.

    Friday, March 26, 2010 at 6:29 am | Permalink
  14. Russel wrote:

    I recommend you attend this webinar “Transforming Education through Disruptive Technologies” @ That may help you out immensely.

    Friday, March 26, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  15. Ed Webb wrote:

    Sunday, March 28, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink
  16. This is a very interesting report on the emerging technologies for higher education:

    I hope this helps!


    Monday, March 29, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Permalink
  17. I just made this video about the Future of Learning Management Systems.

    Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm | Permalink
  18. Would love to take this class. Please alert me when it is beign offered. Great links on this site.

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  19. monika hardy wrote:

    after studying people like you for some time and people like anya kamenetz of late… and listening to students.. 30 students in a pilot class helped fashion this model to redefine school: (videos in tumblr link at top)

    Friday, April 23, 2010 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

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