A society’s view of education is simply a reflection of the broader culture. Back when America was far more homogeneous and agrarian, we developed schools that reflected those values and ideals, right down to the calendar we taught kids on. I would argue one reason there is such confusion over where education should go in the future in this country, is because we now have so many competing visions of what our culture is and how that should collectively define us in the 21st Century. But if you step back, remain objective, and keep your eyes open, what is happening in the world today is pretty clear. And when we understand the direction of the broader world, the role and direction of education comes into focus.
Sustainability is not merely an environmental ambition, focused on EPA-administered programs and “small footprint” tips and tricks for changing lifestyles. Sustainability, literally, is about doing things in a way that ensures they can continue to be done indefinitely.
In recent years, the development of information technology has progressed in leaps and bounds. The advancement of programming techniques, rapid productivity growth of semiconductor chips, the development of special means of information transmission, as well as feedback devices (head-mounted stereoscopic displays, gloves and suits that have embedded sensors that transmit information to a computer about a user’s movements) – the culmination of these advancements have yielded a momentous technology in the shape of virtual reality.
School is definitely not out, and it never will be again.
Education does not–and cannot–occur in clean, distinct segments. The realities of modern workplaces, employment practices, and economics all demand that education be continuous. What this spells is a massive transformation of the old legacy institutions–primarily, universities–as working and learning overlap and interact in more, and more significant, ways.
The LMS, as we currently know it, is a relic from a long-gone era. An era where the internet was in its infancy, where static, text-heavy content was the norm, and where the web was accessed from the desktop. Where services like AOL, Yahoo and MSN tried to be everything to everybody.