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Subject: KnowledgeWorks Foundation 2020 Forecast: January Update
From: "KnowledgeWorks Foundation" <EducationMap@kwfdn.org>
KnowledgeWorks Foundation 2020 Forecast: January Update
Dear Friends -
Happy New Year from KnowledgeWorks Foundation! After describing so many dilemmas facing our society in our last update, we want to make this month's news full of the promise of the New Year. So grab a mug of something warm and enjoy our first update of 2009.
This month's focus is on the ways in which the economy will change over the next ten years. And the news is good. Though we are facing a recession and volatility now, the availability of new design technologies might change all of that. Websites that offer product customization mean that anyone can produce personalized goods. Lightweight fabrication equipment, such as 3-D printers, is available for purchase or rental, and will eventually be cheap enough for home models. Social networks allow artists and tinkerers to share ideas and improve upon ideas.
There are abundant opportunities to reinvent learning and teaching in light of the economy of the future. If our students can create new things easily and give life to their ideas, they can engage in experiential, tangible learning activities that let them play with, experiment on, manipulate, and hold in their hands the products of their labor. Hands-on, authentic learning promises to enable students to make meaning out of previously boring and abstract lessons.
The 2020 Forecast proposes that these new technologies and new ways of approaching learning will give rise to new abilities. Students will naturally engage in more processes of creativity and innovation, deepening essential problem-solving skills. They will leverage their considerable skills in online communication to collaborate on projects with real results, and perhaps discover new interests along the way. They will become creators of knowledge instead of just consumers. They are going to do this whether we teach them to do so or leave them to their generation's devices, but if we take advantage of these opportunities and guide them, today´s students will embody the entrepreneurial spirit that can drive our economy to unprecedented levels of prosperity.
This new economy will not be organized around the assembly lines that served as the model for the factory schools of the 20th century. What kind of school organization can we envision as the appropriate model for the new economy of customized goods made in small shops by networks of artisans?
This past holiday season, many Americans were busy buying gifts for each other, but tomorrow's learners will be able to buy, borrow, or make them. The sneak preview of this new driver of change, the Maker Economy, will be expanded upon on our blog shortly. Stay with us!
KnowledgeWorks Foundation brings you this monthly update on the progress of our work to empower communities to improve education.
KnowledgeWorks Foundation, 1 W. 4th St., Ste. 200, Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Copyright © 2008 KnowledgeWorks Foundation. Empowering Communities
to Improve Education.TM www.kwfdn.org - All Rights Reserved.
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