Script for a critical reflection in audio-visual on:

The Future of Learning Institutions

Jonathan Barnes, Mathematics and Physics Teacher, White Hills Academy, St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador,

Learning institutions have changed far more slowly (Davison, Goldberg & Jones, 2009) than the personalized, collaborative, and informalized learning processes offered by emerging technologies (Davison, Goldberg & Jones, 2009; Redecker et al, 2011). Future learning institutions will re-event themselves in a world of globalization as flexible, open and adaptive infrastructures, engaging all citizens (Redecker et al., 2011) while adopting technology in an evolving learning landscape as an important tool to expand their global connections and advance their pedagogical effectiveness (Hung & Jeng, 2013).

Physical learning spaces will be reconfigured for optimal learning (Thomas, 2010) as virtual and physical boundaries of institutions blur with technology immersion, personalized learning, knowledge skills, and global integration converging to create a transformational paradigm (Anderson, Boyles & Rainie, 2012; Rudd, Davia, Sullivan, 2009). Virtual learning institutions of the future will bring about a shift in instructional practices (Choi & Baek, 2011) by adopting settings where students can learn, create, and explore information collaboratively and individually (Reid, Aqui, & Putney, 2013; Shin, Biocca & Choo, 2013). The de-centralization of information from institutions, as well as developments in mobile communications and cloud computing, will lead to the erosion of institutional boundaries (Facer, 2009), allowing access to vast amounts of socially constructed knowledge, connections to large clusters of learners, and constructivist learning spaces (Antonacci & Modaress, 2008; Pineteh, 2013). These virtual learning spaces will have a built-in memory that learners will use to create and manipulate knowledge and environments and reconstruct and control them elsewhere (Thomas, 2010).

Three-dimensional virtual learning environments will give rise to new forms of learning opportunities to accommodate the needs, preferences and interests of learners (Shin, Biocca & Choo, 2013). Massive multiplayer online virtual game environments will create communities of learners who will learn through social experiences and collaboration (Paraskeva, Mysirlaki & Papagianni, 2010). In using multi-user immersive simulations, learners will experience cognitive dissonance while engaging in problem-based activities exploring virtual learning worlds (Tuomi, 2005). In these virtual worlds, learners will investigate past, present and futuristic environments while actively participating in diverse scenarios (Tuomi, 2005).

Emerging ICT technologies will provide mass-customized learning (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2008; Tuomi, 2005) and enable a smooth educational continuum that is centered on the learner, not the institutions (Redecker, 2011). Learner-centered institutions will actively engage students (Keengwe, Onchwari, & Onchwari, 2009) while creating personalized and appropriate learning opportunities that will address specialized training needs by utilizing a range of tools and applications to facilitate individual and collaborative learning practices inside and outside school and in diverse contexts (Reddecker et al., 2011). Learning institutions of the future will motivate learners (Masoumi & Lindstrom, 2012) based on the foundation of self-regulated learning (Redecker et al., 2011) where Individuals will be guided by their preferences and priorities when accessing knowledge (Thomas, 2010). Software, mobile technology and context-aware devices will contextualize learning experiences by adjusting knowledge they provide to the context of the learner (Häkkinen & Hämäläinen, 2012) and delivering content when the need, significance and value are highest (Wang & Shen, 2012). Learners will mange information themselves rather than accessing it through institutions (Facer, 2009).

Learning institutions of the future will be borderless (Pineteh, 2013) taking advantage of the collaborative and collective approach to learning (Redecker et al., 2011). They will shift to include unique methods of online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models (Johnson et al., 2013) where knowledge will be de-centralized and based on collective efforts (Redecker et al., 2011). Learning institutions will view themselves as global ecosystems characterized by open learning systems where their roles will involve open collaboration, cooperative resource creation, evaluation, and sharing (Knowledge Works Foundation, 2008).

Institutions of the future will be thought of as mobilizing networks that emphasis flexibility, interactivity, and connectedness where learners and teachers can access any learning resources at anytime and any place (Davidson, Goldberg & Jones, 2009; Dawson, 2010). Open collaborative-networked learning will change how we think about institutions by continuously modifying and readjusting the network activity with new emerging possibilities for learning (Davidson, Goldberg & Jones, 2009). Advances in mobile communication and social media will create socially networked collaborative learning institutions that will be committed to cooperation, interactivity, cohesion, and social engagement for learning (Davidson, Goldberg & Jones, 2009; Dawson, 2010; Häkkinen & Hämäläinen, 2012; Scanlon, 2013).

Cross-institutional and cross-industry learning programs will become a reality of the future (Reaz, Hussain, & Khadem, 2007; Rudd et al., 2009). The emergence of the cross-institutional personal learning paths will provide a collective approach to student life-long learning experiences and accomplishments (Rudd et al., 2009). Learners will require diverse learning experiences from numerous institutions into a totaled and cohesive learning program that meets their needs (Rudd et al., 2009). Institutions will prepare for this transformation by promoting strategic cooperation through open technology infrastructure and open environments for integrated data and processes while creating a network of collaborative and shared services through open research and learning (Rudd et al., 2009).

Institutional change will not easily be accomplished inside established learning institutions (Davidson, Goldberg, & Jones, 2009; Tuomi, 2005). Human imagination is often constrained by deeply established practices that continuously reproduce and regenerate social institutions (Tuomi, 2005). No technology is capable of overcoming underdeveloped educational philosophies (Lim, Zhao, Tondeur, Chai, & Tsai, 2013). Institutional change only becomes a reality when our "collective imaginations change and reorganize our world and our interactions with others" (Tuomi, 2005, p. 5). However, the rapid and significant change in technologies has already begun to reorganize our world (Facer, 2009; Tuomi, 2005). As a result, learning institutions of the future will be challenged by learners (Facer, 2009; Tuomi, 2005) to transform from traditional, authoritative, top-down, teacher-centered institutions to creative, collaborative, self-regulated learner-centered spaces (Davidson, Goldberg, & Jones, 2009; Lim et al., 2013; Rudd et al., 2009). Learning institutions of the future will experiment with new learner-centered formats and strategies for teaching and learning made possible by emerging technology offering meaningful, effective and challenging learning experiences (Redecker et al., 2011). As technology continues to drive change in our society (Lim et al., 2013), future-learning institutions must continue to reorganize and renew their modes of learning to better meet the needs of learners (Davidson, Goldberg, & Jones, 2009).

Works Cited

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Works Cited - Images

26. [Student-Center Learning]. (n.d). Retrieved July 25, 2013, from: 62/306x306/diagram_6_principles.jpg
27. [Teacher-Centered Instruction]. (n.d.) Retrieved July 25, 2013, from: centered-teaching.jpg

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