I’m just finishing an exciting book, A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change (2011) by Douglas Thomas and John Brown, in which the authors say pithy things like:
“In our view the kind of learning that will define the twenty-first century is not taking place in a classroom – at least not in today’s classroom. Rather, it’s happening all around us, everywhere, and it is powerful … and grounded in a very simple question: What happens to learning when we move from the stable infrastructure of the twentieth century to the fluid infrastructure of the twenty-first century, where technology is constantly creating and responding to change?”
This new type of learning … ” looks so different from the kinds of learning described by most educational theorists that it is essentially invisible. … It takes place without books, without teachers and without classrooms, and it requires environments that are bounded yet provide complete freedom of action within those boundaries. This familiar dynamic, in fact, structures all our contemporary notions of play, games, and imagination.
“… We believe that this new culture of learning can augment learning in nearly every facet of education and every stage of life. It is a core part what we think of as ‘arc of life’ learning, which comprises the activities in our daily lives that keep us learning, growing and exploring. … Play, questioning, and – perhaps most important – imagination lie at the very heart of arc-of-life learning.”
This notion of tacit, constructivist, mobile learning IS exciting. I see it in practice in our SelfDesign programs and also much assisted by the emergence of anytime-anywhere learning that is being facilitated by so many excellent educational apps.
Such concepts and developments continue to prepare the ground for the wider, irrepressible evolution of conventional schooling and the colonial model of learning that, unfortunately, continues to dominate most K-university education systems.