The world (school) in 2007…. 2027?

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt shares his views of the world in 2007 – putting things nicely in context for those new to appreciating the significant changes taking place in our networked world. A good read, and lots of “oh yeh” moments.

Some highlights:

The internet is much more than a technology—it’s a completely different way of organising our lives. But its success is built on technological superiority: protocols and open standards that are ingenious in their simplicity.

In 2007 we’ll witness the increasing dominance of open internet standards.

Driving this change is a profound technological shift in computer science.

Sophisticated browsers and technologies like LAMP or AJAX—not neon lights or Greek heroes but simple building blocks that enable people to produce and distribute content—are critical in this new world. They are the kind of technologies that transform audio, video, text and digital data into intuitive, easy-to-use services. They make Google, MySpace, YouTube, Gmail, Yahoo! and Microsoft Live possible, and they haven’t even entered adolescence.

Today we live in the clouds. We’re moving into the era of “cloud” computing, with information and applications hosted in the diffuse atmosphere of cyberspace rather than on specific processors and silicon racks. The network will truly be the computer.

The lesson is compelling: put simple, intuitive technology in the hands of users and they will create content and share it. The fastest-growing parts of the internet all involve direct human interaction. Think about the blogging phenomenon and social networking sites like MySpace in America, Bebo in Britain, Orkut in Brazil, CyWorld in Korea and Mixi in Japan. In 2007 the virtual communities so prevalent in Asia and among students will become mainstream. Online communities are thriving and growing. The internet is helping to satisfy our most fundamental human needs—our desire for knowledge, communication and a sense of belonging.

So what do we do about learning 2007? Spot the difference to start with!

Recognise that our learners are involved in “an architecture of participation” rather than just being consumers of information and knowledge.


Now they are

  • creators
  • contributors
  • communicators
  • collaborators
  • co-ordinators.

Online learning from a school’s perspective looks very different from online learning from a students perspective. Schools are still talking content management systems, learning management systems – getting excited about rolling out online classrooms. Well, they are nice for sure. But let’s not forget to plug in the web-based social networking tools – particularly if your version of LMS doesn’t include blogging, bookmarking, photosharing, chat, document collaboration, slidesharing, etc etc.

If you need help in grasping (planning for 2007 or 2027) take a look at FutureSight and discover what case-studies can tell you about the e-enabled future primary or secondary school.

Then join the conversation through School 2.0. and take a long hard look at Learning 2.0 school map. There is no one path to the school of tomorrow, so this brainstorming tool is idea for getting your planning underway.

I would say that there is nothing surer than the fact that learning and ‘cloud computing’ go hand in hand, so we had better get our school 2.0 designs underway now!

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