Key Trends Affecting the Practice of Learning and Collaboration


I was reading a report (Horizon 2009) and found three trends affecting the practice of learning and collaboration that I thought were worth sharing.

Increasing globalization continues to affect the way we work, collaborate, and communicate. Information technologies are having a significant impact on how people work, play, gain information, and collaborate. Increasingly, those who use technology in ways that expand their global connections are more likely to advance, while those who do not will find themselves on the sidelines. With the growing availability of tools to connect learners and scholars all over the world — online collaborative workspaces, social networking tools, mobiles, voice-over-IP, and more — teaching and scholarship are transcending traditional borders more and more all the time.

The notion of collective intelligence is redefining how we think about ambiguity and imprecision. Collective intelligence may give rise to multiple answers, all equally correct, to problems. The notions of collective intelligence and mass amateurization are redefining scholarship as we grapple with issues of top-down control and grassroots scholarship. Today’s learners want to be active participants in the learning process – not mere listeners; they have a need to control their environments, and they are used to easy access to the staggering amount of content and knowledge available at their fingertips.

Experience with and affinity for games as learning tools is an increasingly universal characteristic among those entering higher education and the workforce. A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that massively multiplayer and other online game experience is extremely common among young people, is rich and varied, and that games offer opportunity for increased social interaction and civic engagement among this group. The success of game-based learning strategies owes to active participation and interaction being at the center of the experience, and signals that current educational methods are not engaging students enough.

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