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A learning system to meet the needs of a complex knowledge era

I had the opportunity to stop by edX last. I gave a talk on the type(s) of learning system(s) that are needed to address complex knowledge needs. A video the talk is available here. A key point that I wanted to communicate in the presentation is the importance of thinking about the intended needs of knowledge in society when talking about the future of higher education. Much of the theorizing about universities would be better suited for society’s knowledge needs in the early 1900′s. We can’t simply “optimize”, “make more efficient”, and “drive down costs” in planning the structure of tomorrow’s universities. We gain an understanding of needed learning systems, I argue, by evaluating the attributes of information in digital networks and through focusing on the nature of knowledge needs in complex settings.