Universities on demand?

 

I really like all the social applications and services available on the web right now, particularly those with geo-tagging features. In fact, I can’t wait for the wireless network infrastructures to really match the handheld services.

But what implications do they have on learning? When able to access every bit of information when needed, will the need of remembering, planning and preparation be less important? And these are skills that are highly appreciated in today’s working life. Instead it’ll be more useful to know were to find, how to search and how to connect and combine different types of information. Do we all need to have knowledge in how the systems work or are we to experience more refined and easy ways to use search- and categorize-tools in the future?

Handheld applications makes it possible to give learners what they want when they need it. To use real life situations instead of simulations. But this demands a lot of new competences for a teacher. We are already at a stage where learning material creation and maintenance together with Meta-tagging is discussed regularly. The delivery and infrastructural issues are next up. In the corporate world we’ve already seen Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) trying to solve the need of information on-demand. But is this something for the universities to adopt? Isn’t rather the Universities task to care for reflection, theory making and analyzing as drivers for learning?

Written for the Knowledge Foundations blog: 21st Century Skills in Teaching.

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