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Images of Education Futures: Looking at the Big Picture

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Author - Mark Brown, Director of National Institute of Digital Learning, Dublin City University. This presentation explores some of the uncomfortable realities of today’s digitally connected world. It deconstructs the current language of crisis, disruption, democratisation and re-imagination in the age of the digital society and argues the drive for greater access, quality and flexibility of education requires a type of double vision—utopia and dystopia. By looking at the bigger picture through the metaphorical lens of a telescope the presentation attempts to expand the current digital horizon by revealing some of competing and co-existing forces promoting different education futures. It asks what is our preferred future and what role does new open, online and flexible models of the classroom play in this future? The presentation concludes with a challenge for educational leaders to map and navigate there our own pathways for a better future?

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Images of Education Futures: Looking at the Big Picture

  1. 1. Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning Images of Education Futures: Looking at the Bigger Picture Kaunas, Lithuania 9th November 2017
  2. 2. Liverpool Hut, Mt Aspiring New Zealand
  3. 3. Different interest groups and stakeholders are borrowing the same ‘languages of persuasion’ to legitimize very different agenda In the era of fake news… Openness is Problematic
  4. 4. “It is theory that decides what we can observe…”
  5. 5. TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Openness is Problematic
  6. 6. Knowledge Economy TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  7. 7. “Frankly, all the computers and software and Internet connections in the world won’t do much good if young people don’t understand that access to new technology means… access to the new economy” (President Bill Clinton; cited in Cuban, 2001, p.18).
  8. 8. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  9. 9. “Higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal...” The President said “…the role of the university in enabling citizens to develop the tools to address the great challenges of our time – global poverty, climate change and sustainability – was vital.
  10. 10. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  11. 11. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • • Sifting agent • Human capital • Cultural heritage • Education as commodity Reproducing Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  12. 12. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • • Sifting agent • Human capital • Cultural heritage • Education as commodity • Entrepreneurship • 21st Century skills • Market competition • Education in change ReschoolingReproducing Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  13. 13. In 1976… 89% market share
  14. 14. The Language of Disruptive Innovation
  15. 15. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • • Democratic • Opening access • Micro credentials • Personalized learning • Sifting agent • Human capital • Cultural heritage • Education as commodity ReschoolingReproducing Deschooling • Entrepreneurship • 21st Century skills • Market competition • Education in change Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  16. 16. “And we’ve got to bring on the competition — open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children. Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition — the American way.” Donald Trump, in his book “The America We Deserve”
  17. 17. Whose Image of Openness?
  18. 18. Knowledge Economy Learning Society TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES • Threat • Unbundling • Re-imagination Crisis • Disruption • Democratization • • Public Good • Lifelong learning • Equitable society • Education for change • Democratic • Opening access • Micro credentials • Personalized learning • Sifting agent • Human capital • Cultural heritage • Education as commodity ReschoolingReproducing ReconceptualizingDeschooling • Entrepreneurship • 21st Century skills • Market competition • Education in change Mark Brown, 2016 Openness is Problematic
  19. 19. Critical Consumers Critical Citizens RECONCEPTUALIST FRAMEWORK FOR OPENNESS (Delors Report, 1972) LEARNING TO BE LEARNING TO KNOW LEARNING TO DO LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER Critical Thinkers
  20. 20. Conclusion…
  21. 21. Conclusion…
  22. 22. JRC (2016). Opening up education in Europe: A support framework for higher education institutions
  23. 23. “Openness should be in the service of big ideas, not as a big idea in itself” (adapted from Barnett, 2011)
  24. 24. MICRO MACRO MESO
  25. 25. Go raibh maith agaibh!
  26. 26. “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom” Francis Bacon

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