Last year I spoke to my mobile phone. I wasn’t ringing anyone, but I asked my phone a question. Guess what? No answer. Last week I spoke to my phone, and it gave me some answers right there on my screen. Better.
Soon there will be no need to read a answer, and in another few decades there may not even be a question. Futurists tell us that we will be our technology, and information will be who we are or what it made us. As we watch the fast-paced changes taking place in technology, the web of data and the social connections between us, the value of information as knowledge is what the game-change is all about, and as such remains the core business of info-nerds.
What is so frantically important is to unravel where we need to go in all this. No amount of Advanced Searching with Google is going to resolve the major issues confronting us. Just watch people wherever you go – cafes, trains, sidewalks, bars – mobile in hand, people connect, people ask, people investigate, people forage for news and information. So it’s more than information discovery, information filtering or information curation strategies that we need to be thinking/learning about. The “Fourth Revolution,” proposed by Floridi (2012) describes the current information age, an era in which our understanding of both self and world is significantly altered by sudden changes in the information climate due to the advent of computing machinery from Alan Turing (1912-1954) onwards.
So you’re a teacher? or an information professional of some kind? Either way, you have a significant role to play in how the future shapes up. As curators of knowledge and cultural history the burning question in the fourth revolution undoubtedly lies in our ongoing ability to manipulate and manage information flow.
In my April foolishness, my mind is totally absorbed by all this. As I watch MOOCs emerge around the globe, as I note the various professional opportunities that associations and organizations provide, I’m delighted by the range of offerings, and the quality of some of them. But they are niche offerings. A bit of this, a bit of that. A full quality credentialed degree program still has HUGE relevance, because of the depth, breadth, width and brain-expanding opportunities that are possible.
But enough of that for now…more later.
What we need is a MINDshifted degree! One that helps you learn how digital connections should change the way we think, the way we teach, the way we craft the future. We need cross-disciplinary understanding of knowledge networking and digital innovation as a degree at the intersection of knowledge, information science and education. This way we can ensure our graduates have the capacity to manage and manipulate information in a networked way for learning and teaching.
In the next couple of weeks our new initiative (been slogging on this) is being put forward as formal application to the Faculty of Education. The aim is to have an amazing new degree ready for you in 2014.
Watch these pages for more updates on the Master of Education (Knowledge Networks and Digital Innovation). Trust me – You’ll want to know more about it!
Floridi, L. (2012). The fourth revolution. The Philosophers’ Magazine, (57), 96-101.
Image: Funny – A Hoot