The future impact of the Internet on education and lifelong learning

The most sought after skill today is creativity. This is a non-linear skill and difficult to teach within a traditional educational context – but it is catered for by the decentralised non-linear capacity of the Internet to nurture and disseminate innovation, ideas and creative output.

It was suggested that the open and participatory culture of the modern Internet makes its benefits less compatible with cultures based on authority (e.g. Wikipedia versus traditional academic journals). Most approaches to teaching and education are still based upon a 19th century paradigm – which offers an opportunity for libraries leverage their experience in the professionalization of information management and media literacy to better inform educators on the demands of the modern digital learning environment.

Currently in the developed world people are now going to have an average of 5-6 different jobs during their careers. Therefore the concept of paying $250,000 for a four year degree is a scam in a context where one degree cannot possibly prepare an individual for the learning/educational challenges of those subsequent six jobs. This begs the question, in an era where digitally enabled lifelong learning and iterative/on-going education is essential – are traditional higher education approaches fit for purpose for the modern world? This contributes towards the dismantlement of the “myth of credentials”. A degree from Harvard will become less relevant than a solid track record of professional achievement. Skills will be increasingly assessed and valued on the basis of “doing something” or “achieving something” as opposed to possessing an academic certification of those skills.