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From the Electronic Papyrus: Social Learning Galleries of the Future: Art Overpowers Facebook

Posted by Editor on November 17, 2009

by Mark Anderson-Wilk

I recently had the opportunity to hear Bob Johansen from the Institute for the Future present a vision of the future that is at once compelling and frightening:

  • The term “consumer” will be replaced by “participant.”
  • Our perception of reality will be largely shaped by technology.
  • More powerful, personalized filters will be required to block out data bombardment.
  • A “generation”—an age group that shares a basic worldview and cultural experience—will continue to shrink such that parents and children may be three or four generations removed from understanding each other.
  • The concept of mentoring will be flipped—youth will teach their elders (which reminds me of a funny bit by Craig Ferguson)
  • To appear “trustworthy” will be held in suspicion.

The art and science of “futuring” is not new. In 1901, H.G. Wells published a collection of provocative and predictive essays entitled Anticipations. Later, he prophesized a “world brain”:

The encyclopedia of the future may conceivably be prepared and kept by an endowed organization employing thousands of workers permanently, spending and recovering millions of pounds yearly, mediating between the original thinker, the scientific investigator, the statistician, the creative worker and the reporter of realities on the one hand and the general intelligence of the public on the other. But such an organization would outgrow in scale and influence alike any single university that exists, and it would inevitably tend to take the place of the loose-knit university system of the world in the concentration of research and thought and the direction of the general education of mankind.

So I decided I would pick up a few recent threads and try my hand at imagining the future of online learning environments:

1. Creativity will finally get the respect it deserves in most areas of life. In learning material development, the relative nexus of power will shift from content experts and technology specialists to artists and communicators…read entire article here:


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