Is ICT about to transform the way people are educated?
We were probably at the end of the first phase in the use of ICT in education, and on the cusp of true transformation. But experience from other sectors tells us that real transformation only comes from disruption, which is never comfortable for those who enjoy the status quo. Transformation requires a clear vision of where you’re trying to go, and political and professional leadership to get there. The time is right though as the financial crisis puts pressure on the costs of all public service delivery, including education.
And we all agree that better educational outcomes are a pre-requisite to sustainable improved European economic competitiveness.
Three industry developments will have impacts on the sector, albeit for different reasons.
- First, cloud computing is already making ICT capability available more easily and at less cost for education providers. MOOCs are perhaps the vanguard of the massive changes and true transformation that cloud promises.
- Next – big data. By co-incidence the FT newspaper examined the issue later in the week. Big data highlights the ever increasing importance of the analytical skills that today’s learners need, and will need even more in the future. Some estimate that Europe’s workforce will be short of 200,000 people with such skills in 5 years time.
- Finally the impact that mobility and mobile data, especially video, will have. We will all be using video far more, and learners will have a much higher proportion of video in their diet. Ericsson forecasts a twelve-fold increase in mobile date over the next 6 years, and the biggest contributor to that will be video.
Educators and politicians must improve their networks and described how to work with the ICT industry. Among the NESTA report’s conclusions is this. “Throughout the report we have been continually reminded of the significant disconnect between educational technology’s key partners – industry, research, teachers and learners”. That can’t be a recipe for a successful transformation. DIGITALEUROPE is working with the Commission to improve these networks and pave the way to ensure industry can participate effectively in the transformation.