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My Digital Footprint

John Seely Brown

The web has just begun to have an impact on our lives. As fascinated as we are with it today, we’re still seeing it in its early forms… My belief is that not only will the web be as fundamental to society as electrification but that it will be subject to many of the same diffusion and absorption dynamics as that earlier medium.

The Linking for Learning Blog

Entries in future (4)


Stephen Fry on the future of technology

The Hay Festival of Literature & Arts is an annual literature festival held in Hay-on-Wye, Powys, Wales UK.  It attracts a crowd of 85,000 people over 10 days who come together to think, discuss and listen to discussions that re-imagine the world and contribute to new thinking and ideas.   

Stephen Fry speaks brilliantly about how technology and the internet is reshaping us and our world.  See other presenters on the conference website and The Hay Festival Youtube Channel




Jobs of the Future - an Australian perspective

What is the research and ideas on the future of jobs from an Australian perspective?  We hear much about the US job market but although there are many similarities, there are also many differences impacting on the Australian situation which require consideration such as:

  • Population - 23million v 213million
  • Geographic location - semi isolation from northern hemisphere
  • Climate - on the whole temperate with extremes of heat rather than cold
  • Higher education system - more accessessible (although change is in the air)
  • Population distribution - concentrated around coastal cities, principally in the south east
  • Age - Australia is a very young country with general openness to new ideas
  • Natural resources - have been financially advantageous but are not infinite.

It's interesting therefore, to read the article Job survival in the age of robots and intelligent machines by David Tuffley on The Conversation in which he examines where we stand and the Australian Government's approach to future jobs.  The article is broken down into headings:

  • Could a robot do your job?
  • Thinking skills for future workers
  • Mastering the new media
  • Managing the information, and 
  • Virtual environments. 

From an educator's point of view, I'm particularly interested in the link through to futurist Thomas Frey's article 55 jobs of the future where he writes:

over the coming years will see a number of industries dismantled requiring a skilled workforce of talented people who can perform this task in the least disruptive way. Most of these industries have been built around aging facilities and infrastructure that will become unnecessary and unsustainable in the future.  


Education System Dismantlers - details here and here and here.

Whether you agree with it or not, the importance for me lies in the growth of awareness, of understanding the world in which we are living and performing a role in preparing young people for their possible futures.  I agree with David Tiffley and am reflecting on the thoughts raised to my role as a teacher librarian, as he concludes:

To position yourself favourably for the jobs of the future, become someone who can look at problems in unorthodox ways, seeing different angles and finding workable solutions.

Be a multi-disciplinary, insatiably curious person who knows how to use the tools to model ideas and create prototypes.

Possessed of an open mind and few fixed ideas about how things should be done, you nonetheless have a strong conscience and can operate outside of your comfort zone to achieve win-win outcomes. You are known for your integrity and resilience.

As always, the conversation published via comments is always worth noting.


7 Survival Skills for students today

In September 2013 representatives of business, education and community organisations met to discuss issues relating to the future at the (co)lab summit in Atlanta, Georgia.  Videos of presentations Including one from Will Richardson, are available on the (co)lab summit Youtube channel.

Education leader, Tony Wagner, delivered this address Reinventing education for the 21st century where he outlines the 7 survival skills that matter most for students in the new economy in which we live. 

1. Critical thinking and problem solving (ability to ask the right questions)
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
3. Agility and adaptability to cope with the pace of change
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship (ability to set one's own goals)
5. Effective oral and written communication
6. Ability to access and analyse information
7. Curiosity and imagination. 



Individual learners - The Future of Learning

This week, as the first week of the new school year in Australia, I've been introducing the Year 7 student intake to their learning space on the college network, activating their accounts and setting them off on their digital citizenship journey in this stage of their education.

The overwhelming impression one has after working on this routine but semi-complex task with 239 students over such a brief time frame, is the range of students in our classes.  Students who are relatively the same age, because that's how we manage schooling, but vary so broadly in abilities, interests and potential result on the NAPLAN testing they will undertake in the coming months.

Perhaps it was this week's experience that made me look closely at the following infographic published in OnCUE, the journal of CUE - Computer-Using Educators, that arrived in my mailbox yesterday. Titled A Glimpse into the Future of Learning, it provides a forecast into 'a diverse learning ecosystem in which learning adapts to each child instead of each child trying to adapt to school'. 

We have already commenced the journey. This infographic provides an overview that is worthy of a discussion with colleagues.