Monthly Archives: January 2013

The education revolution – Part I: Learning and technology

This is the second in a series of posts about the pillars of the revolution in education.

The most critical pillar of our educational system is obviously learning. Education without learning is like a car without wheels: it’s not going to get you very far. So let’s pull apart this first pillar of education and see where new technologies and online opportunities are having an impact.

For this discussion, I’ll define learning as the process of knowledge acquisition for an individual, through whatever means available and independent of the benefits it provides (either to the individual, employers or society). The facets of learning can be broken down using process as a lens:


So what’s happening with technology in the different facets of learning? A few generalizations seem clear at this point:

  • Technology is impacting almost every facet of the learning process in a fundamental way, and more deeply than technologies have in the past
  • Questions about scalability, student-teacher interaction and online assessment must be addressed; fierce debates rage on these topics and more regarding the best approaches
  • Effective integration of technology in the learning process will require training and support for educators, but it’s often missing due to time and budget constraints
  • The political and economic realities of educational institutions create inertia and foster an environment of antagonism between edtech entrepreneurs, educators and administrators; collaboration will be a key to success
  • Progress is being made in the realm of guiding principles (e.g., the Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age), but serious disagreements still need to be resolved, political and otherwise
  • Change may come slowly, but it is coming, and the pace of change has accelerated

Let’s dig a little deeper on technology and its impact on learning, using the facets above as a guide. Continue reading

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The pillars of the education revolution: Learning, Qualification and Value


The Internet is spawning revolutions across all facets of society, and our traditional education system is the latest industry to face its disruptive power. In the following series of articles, I’ll provide a simple model for thinking about the education revolution, break things down into manageable chunks, and explore some of the business innovations going on with online learning and the so-called edtech revolution. Continue reading

Posted in Education | 2 Comments