Is the future of learning already here?

BY Jeff Cobb

 Future of Learning Infographic - KnowledgeWorks

If you are looking for a conversation starter to help spark innovate thinking about the future of your education business, this may be just the tool you need.

KnowledgeWorks, an education foundation, recently released the above infographic on the future of learning along with its Forecast 3.0. I highly recommend downloading, reading, and sharing the infographic and the Recombinant Education: Regenerating the Learning Ecosystem report that is also part of Foreccast 3.0.

A couple of quick observations:

“Future” is a relative term here. I lot of what the report and the infographic point to is already happening. Maybe not everywhere, and maybe not consistently, but it is clear enough that Knowledge Works is not going way out on a limb with this forecast. There are a number of trends the report points to that I referenced when writing Leading the Learning Revolution more than a year ago, and I wasn’t the first to do so.

I say all of that not as a critique of the report, but only to stress that the “future” is not something far out on the horizon: it’s already showing up in our day to day lives. As one commentor puts on the Mind/Shift blog (which first brought this latest KnowledgeWorks forecast to my attention), “We adults are all learning like this now.” Maybe not all of us, but certainly a growing percentage.

Along those lines, a couple of the items highlighted in the infographic jumped out at me:

“Work will evolve so rapidly that continuous career readiness will become the norm.”
Definitely. This is a core theme in Leading the Learning Revolution. It sums up both the key challenge and the key opportunity face by anyone in the business of adult continuing education and professional development.

“Diverse forms of credentials, certificates, and reputation markers will reflect the many ways in which people learn and demonstrate mastery.”
We’ve talked about alternate credentialing in various places. (It’s listed as trend #9 in 12 Trends Disrupting the Market for Lifelong Learning, for example. ) I think this is an area where most organizations need to be accelerating their efforts at innovation.

I’ll stop there – highlighting items from the infographic and the Recombinant Education report is a bit like pulling a thread on a sweater. Bottom line: check this out, and ideally, carve out some time for discussion among executives, board members, and education staff at your organization.


P.S. – We actually highlighted this a week ago in the most recent edition of Leading Learning. If you want to stay on the cutting edge of trends that impact your education business, consider subscribing for free.

When you do, you will receive the latest addition along with a complimentary copy of our Association Learning+Technology report and Chapter 1 of Leading the Learning Revolution. That’s a bargain any way you slice it. Use the form below and then look for a confirmation e-mail in your inbox. (You must click this to complete your subscription.)

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