I’ve recently discovered the work and energy of Tim Longhurst. Tim is an Australian futurist who is helping us to make sense of what is happening in a hyper-connected world and how we, as educators, can harness the power of now.
Tim suggests that today’s learners are part person and part mobile phone. The ubiquitous nature of these devices means that students are informed and supported 24/7 and because of this, students see themselves as multifaceted global contributors – leaders, advocates, entrepreneurs, marketers and activists. It fundamentally changes the way in which we share our stories and how we share our knowledge and assets on a global scale.
According to Tim, the three key trends are:
- The power of small (ability to change the world with fewer resources e.g Pebble Smart Watch)
- Barriers are collapsing (Khan academy has taught 100 million students for free)
- Wisdom of the group (Open Ideo)
These trends reinforce what is possible today using the power of technology. We can’t predict the future but we can imagine what is possible by being curious and asking two critical questions: what is happening in the world and what are the possibilities for learning from each other using today’s tools.
As Tim says in a non-linear world, it’s OK not to know because we have a billion advisers at our fingertips willing to help and share an idea. Today’s learners have already worked this out: ask (on-line) and you will receive. That’s the power of the device and we can learn from people like Tim who have their fingers on the pulse. As Tim writes on his blog, if children are going to be in formal education for 12 years, then we owe it to each of them that schooling….
allows them to develop their understanding of themselves and the world. The qualities we ought to instill in learners include: curiosity, collaboration and creativity. Curiosity, because it’s the spark that turns us into lifelong learners—essential in a fast changing world; collaboration because knowing how to bring out the best in others and work in team environments is such a big part of realising our own potential; and creativity because that it is an act that puts these amazing supercomputers between our ears to work in ways that inspire ourselves and others.