Thursday, April 10, 2014

Transformational Education and the Engine of Business

The convergence of different technologies, as I stated last post, will cause seismic shifts in many areas of our lives. In business, as an example, the culture of business which has followed the same vision and model for the conducting of business over the last century will find itself out of synch with the rapid changes on all fronts of our culture. The needs of employees and clients will be re-shaped or transformed from what was standard procedure in the past. The education of employees or training as business likes to look at it, will no longer be able to depend upon the tech departments to satisfy the needs on the part of employees to re-educate, integrate and re-focus. The culture of innovation that is developing will demand that online education and the increased use of interactive simulations tied to effectiveness be embedded in the work life of the employees. There will be a greater encouragement to innovate and follow accepted new ideas to their completion. Too many great innovative business ideas that come out of once a month or year sessions end up on the shelf to gather dust. The generation of new investors in business will come to the business expecting a return on their investment that fits with a new culture of innovation. Intellectual capital will be the primary focus in the reshaping of business and in new business start ups. These new business entrepreneurs will be people who have never known a time from the day that they were born that they were not connected to the web. They will be the new digital natives. The efficacy of this point of view has appeared already on the scene. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founders Jack Dorsey, Evan Williams, Biz Stone and Noah Glass are just a few high profile examples of the new digital native entrepreneurs that have transformed social media. Of course, we must not forget the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They know what many businesses don't realize that being that converging technologies are leading to transformational changes.

Now, what of education? Education use to have two main philosophies in regards to its purpose in the world. One purpose suggested that it was the goal of education to reflect society. This means that in the shaping of education, structure, goals and decisions were to be faithful to that philosophy. This also meant that education was not a driving force in society but was in fact driven by the main force that did drive society, that being Industry. Education was shaped to serve the goals of industry.
The second philosophy was that education should be an agent of change in society. Education should be a driving force in determining the direction that society would go. This was naturally considered to be a radical philosophy and did not fit the industrial model or serve its needs.

However, today, in creating a new culture of innovation coupled with the perfect storm of converging technologies, transformational education is coming into its own. The second education philosophy will not be just a radical option but instead an essential for living in transformational times. Every aspect of pedagogy is under the microscope and being examined for relevancy within the context of these new realities. Business, instead of being an adversary of education, will be in effect an engine driving this transformational education but in this case education will provide the direction on where our society should take us. Why? The fact is that business has a stake in this that will either allow them develop new innovations or fail as a business unable to cope with the seismic shifts that converging technologies are bringing.

Next, examining in more detail potential changes in pedagogy in order to produce transformational teaching....

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