Learning and Education in the Networked Society


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It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places and 25 years to connect 5 billion people. Today, 85 percent of the world’s population has access to mobile communications, and by 2020 we expect there to be 50 billion connected devices.
Mobile phones, tablets and laptops are making the school desk as we know it obsolete. Today’s progressive schools are having their classrooms rebuilt to turn them into multifunctional spaces to enable new ways of learning. A new Ericsson Networked Society report, "Learning and Educations in the Networked Society" , shows that introducing ICT in schools affects six principal areas.
For more information on ICT & Education visit: http://www.ericsson.com/thinkingahead/networked_society/learning_education

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Learning and Education in the Networked Society

  1. 1. Learning andEducation in theNetworkedSociety
  2. 2. ContentsWe are on the brink of a fundamental shift in society. As we journey towards the Networked Societywe are unlocking the full potential of learning and education. Students and progressive teachers,empowered by technology, are turning established models on their heads while new skills andeducational platforms are redefining our systems and institutions.1 A connected world 42 From evolution to revolution 53 Classroom disruption 6 Breaking down the walls 6 Knowledge everywhere 6 Lifelong learning 7 The empowered classroom 74 The science of change 85 Making the grade 10 3
  3. 3. A connectedworldAs we approach the Networked Society, empowered individuals and communities will drivechange towards completely new ways of governing, doing business, innovating, learning andeducating. It is change that is on the same magnitude as the Industrial Revolution – but this timethe shift revolves around the role of ICT and how it is transforming our society.It took 100 years to connect 1 billion places and25 years to connect 5 billion people. Today 85 percentof the world’s population has access to mobile By 2017 mobile data trafficcommunications, and by 2020 we expect there to be50 billion connected devices. This is what we mean is expected to growwhen we talk about the Networked Society – a worldwhere everything that can benefit from a connectionwill have one. 15 times Source: Ericsson Traffic and Market Report, 2012.This journey is unlocking the full potential of learningand education by turning established models ontheir heads. Students and progressive teachers,empowered by technology, are the catalysts forfundamental change. New skills and the passionfor constant learning are becoming increasinglyimportant and a new ecosystem is emerging thatis greatly impacting, and in some cases redefining,established systems and institutions. The Networked Society is when people, business and society are using connected devices for their benefit4
  4. 4. From evolutionto revolutionAs humans, we define ourselves by our ability to learn and to seek knowledge. It is a centralpart of our being and one of the most important aspects in the evolution of our culture. Today,learning is more than just a physical or mental activity. As we journey towards the NetworkedSociety, learning has been transformed into an industry.In its report, Understanding Knowledge Societies, theUnited Nations describes “knowledge economies” asthose societies in which information and the creation of “Fifty years ago we were a very poorknowledge have replaced industrial production as themain contributor to GDP1. As part of this development, country. Today we are the 14th largestbusinesses and governments are integrating ICT into their economy in the world. With no naturalcore processes to increase efficiency, expand the scopeand reach of their services and improve productivity. resources, education is what has transformed our country.”One result of this development has been the rapiddigitization of information and knowledge. Wikipedia, Ambassador Young-shim Dho, UNWTO, South Korea4.for example, was created in 2001 and is now one ofthe most popular sites on the internet with 22 millionarticles in 285 languages2.The number of networked devicesovertook the total global populationin 2011. 3However, it is not just the scope of Wikipedia thatsets it apart from traditional media but rather thecollaborative approach it uses to changing, removingand modifying content on its pages. This has forcedsome commercial encyclopedia companies to shiftfocus. In 2012, Encyclopedia Britannica announcedthat after 244 years it would stop publishing theprinted version of its encyclopedia. 1. UN Understanding Knowledge Societies, 2005 2. Alexa 2012 3. Broadband Commission, State of Broadband Report, 2012 4. Networked Society Forum (NEST) summary paper 5
  5. 5. ClassroomdisruptionAll around the world, a lively debate is taking place in the areas of learning and education. Is thestatus quo working or is it imperative that our school systems change? If so, how should theychange and what is their role in the future? What about informal learning and how do we makeeducation more accessible?How will individuals and institutions within learning andeducation be impacted as we approach a NetworkedSociety? In most parts of the world the school system “Schools were built with the factorywas developed during the industrial age with factoriesas the model. How we define knowledge and education as the model – the clock, the lessons.is still very much based on those historical origins. They are mirrors of the factory.Schools in the industrial society reflected how peoplewere working and organized at that time. But this is However, nine out of 10 workplaceschanging rapidly. do not look like that anymore.”Breaking down the walls Patrik Hernwall, Associate Professor, Södertörn University, Sweden6Digital natives, who have grown up experiencing constantconnectivity, have radically different notions of what itmeans to create, collaborate, communicate and share.This behavior is fundamentally changing our society and Knowledge everywherein particular the institutions of learning and education. Today a person with a smartphone has instantaneous access to millions of articles, books, essays, academicToday’s young people live in an interactive culture research, instructions and lectures on every imaginablecharacterized by unlimited access to information and subject. This development has broken down thecontent, anytime, anywhere. It is a culture that relies barriers that used to exist between knowledge andon peer-to-peer interaction for information to legitimize the schools and libraries that were the gatekeepersopinions, actions and behavior. of this knowledge.It is also a culture that is fiercely entrepreneurial. Theinternet is their experimental workshop where user-driventrial and error teaches entrepreneurial skills and helps thebest ideas to quickly rise to the top. It is a collaborativestyle of learning that is defined by openness and sharing. BORN DIGITAL Digital natives were born in or after 1985 and have grown up in a world of computers, mobile phones and the internet – experiences that have and continue to shape their behavior. By 2020 they will total about 3.5 billion and comprise about 50 percent of the global population5.6
  6. 6. Lifelong learningWhile informal learning has always been important, it hasnot always received the same attention as formalized Wikipedia haslearning. The fact is, most of our learning, however, isinformal and done on a daily basis. Between the time weare born and up to the age when we start school – we 22 millionlearn to crawl, walk, run, speak and draw without any articles informal education.Lifelong learning and information education will play anincreasingly important role as people strive to develop 285 languagestheir knowledge, skills and competence throughouttheir lives in an effort to improve income and grow ashuman beings.“Yesterday you graduated and youwere set for life – only needing to ‘keepup’ a bit with ongoing developments.Today when you graduate you’re setfor say, 15 minutes.”Don Tapscott, author, speaker and adviser on media, technologyand innovation7.The empowered classroomHistorically, the field of learning has had a top-downapproach – but that is being turned on its head. Studentsand progressive teachers, empowered by technology, are of technology, children’s lives outside of school have beennow the catalysts for fundamental change. Young people, radically changed.and their interactive and collaborative culture, are in starkcontrast to how schools and the majority of schoolsystems are organized today. David Buckingham, aprofessor at the University of London, says that while 5. Ericsson 6. Glimpses of future school – Living and learning in a new media ecology, 2011schools have remained relatively unaffected by the advent 7. Don Tapscott, Macrowikinomics 7
  7. 7. The ScienceOf changeICT is significantly impacting how schools are organized and run. This change can be groupedinto six specific areas that concern both processes and physical space.Work toolsThe tools of the trade for learning and education arechanging as students bring their own devices with them, “In a school in west London, thewhether a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Progressiveschools are working with 1:1 programs, where every children there redesigned a classroomstudent and teacher gets a laptop or tablet. Interactive with mood lightning, diverse furniturewhiteboards are also common tools for individual andcollaborative work. and the ability to accommodate any technology. It was so good they didn’tTechnical solutionsNetwork connectivity and solutions for content want to go home.”management, communication and interactivity have Stephen Heppell, Professor, Bournemouth University, UK.become critical infrastructure for schools. Ways of working SOUTH KOREAN STUDENTS GET SMART The idea that students should do one specific thing at T-Smart is South Korean operator SK Telecom’s one particular time is based on the needs of an industrial tablet-based education platform for society. Project-based learning is more aligned with the interactive learning. reality of today’s information society. In projects, students An online support learn how to divide and take responsibility for different community enables parts of their project, getting the opportunity to work students to share study both individually and in groups. tips via a knowledge- sharing system. New tools are also opening up opportunities for individualized learning. Learning platforms, such as Knewton, are helping students see their progress and get feedback on everything from what time of day they learnWork space best, to the areas where they need more demanding tasks.Mobile phones, tablets and laptops are making theschool desk as we know it obsolete. Today’s progressive Work relationsschools are rebuilding their classrooms to make them Teachers are, and will be, a vital part of educationinto multifunctional spaces with new ways of learning. – but their role is changing. New ways of working mean the teacher’s role is going from being a “sageThrough connectivity and mobility any space can be a on the stage” to a “guide by the side.” Connectedpotential place for school work and learning. The virtual devices and new technical platforms are givingclassroom can complement the physical classroom parents better insight into their students’and encourage collaboration, especially in areas where performance, as well as more direct contact withdistance and travel are factors. teachers and school administrators.8
  8. 8. NEW ECOSYSTEMS NEW CLASSROOM MODELSedX is a not-for-profit enterprise The Khan Academy is turningfounded by Harvard University the classroom model on itsand Massachusetts Institute head by having students followof Technology that features lectures at home and dointeractive study specifically homework in the classroom.designed for the web. The Hole-in-the-Wall project in India teachesCoursera is a partnership of more than 30 top students there how to learn with minimaluniversities from around the world, including intervention from teachers through exploration,Princeton and Stanford, that offers free online discovery and peer coaching.courses open to anyone. Skills and knowledge Basic skills such as reading, writing and calculating will always be important – but in our rapidly changing world new skills and the passion for constant learning are becoming increasingly important. Students need to know how to deal with the unlimited amount of information that is available on the internet. They must learn how to sift through it, find relevant, trustworthy information, and analyze and understand it in different contexts. Critical and analytical thinking will be especially important for students in the Networked Society. It is also essential that we know how to read, produce and understand new multimedia formats such as video. 9
  9. 9. Makingthe gradeA new ecosystem is emerging within learning and education and the traditional participants ofthese areas will all be affected.Governments StudentsGovernments are responsible for both the quality and level In the Networked Society, students are no longerof education in their countries. The challenge will be to constrained by the four walls of their physical classroom.maintain a high level of quality even when faced with A flexible curriculum, individualized learning and a globalglobal competition. Governments therefore need bold course offering means education can be adapted tovisions and plans for investing in their countries’ education the individual needs of a student. This puts additionalsystems while also supporting a culture of learning. demands on students to take personal responsibility to make the right choices.Schools and universitiesThe landscape that schools and universities operate Teachersin will transform and become far more competitive The theories and practices of teaching will need to adaptthan it is today. As new players emerge, schools and to both the physical and virtual classroom. The teacher’suniversities will need to put more energy into fostering role will remainmotivation and creativity while focusing on learning- important althoughto-learn in both a physical and virtual environment. it will shift from being a gatekeeper ofCompetition means that schools will face increasing knowledge to a coachquality and cost pressure. New working tools such as and guide.laptops, tablets and smartphones need to find theirway into the learning process as well as new support Parentssystems, individualized learning material, new methods A connected worldfor teaching and new measurements to gauge quality. means that the majority of parentsResearch programs will also be impacted. Attracting will be able toresearch funding and talented people will become more transparently follow,difficult. Universities will try to reduce costs through and be more involvedalternative models such as online universities and in, the learningdistance courses as well as more collaborative and processtransparent forms of research. of their children.10
  10. 10. Google has scannedand digitized more than130 millionprinted booksSource: PC World, 2010. “The focus on learning-to-learn is the most important thing we can do.” Stephen Heppell, Professor, Bournemouth University, UK.
  11. 11. Ericsson is shaping the future of mobile and broadband internet communications throughits continuous technology leadership.Providing innovative solutions in more than 180 countries, Ericsson is helping to createthe most powerful communication companies in the world.The content of this document is subject to revision withoutnotice due to continued progress in methodology, design andmanufacturing. Ericsson shall have no liability for any error ordamage of any kind resulting from the use of this documentEricsson ABSE-126 25 Stockholm, SwedenTelephone +46 10 719 00 00Fax +46 8 18 40 85 EN/LZT XXX XXXX XXXwww.ericsson.com © Ericsson AB 2012