Traditionally, education has been an entity, a system, a learning process that students undergo, or all or a combination of these things. Albert Einstein was once quoted as saying:
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school".
In modern terms, education today is about learning as a life-long experience, not simply a process that students endure for a period of their lives.
Future learning requires deconstructing traditional views of education as an institution. For education, the next 10 years are about building communities of learners that can connect, communicate and collaborate about anything, anywhere and anytime. Social constructivism maintains that we learn well from expressing our ideas for others in a culture of shared meanings and contexts. Moreover, the advent of web technologies such as AJAX, blog, chat, forums, podcasting, RSS feeds, wikis and so on, means that learning can be self-directed, dynamic, interactive and media-rich.
Boundaries that exist in the physical world, don't necessarily exist in the virtual world. Virtually speaking, the world is flat. In theory, every person with an internet connection and some basic computer literacy has access to a wealth of digital information providing opportunities for new experiences, knowledge and skills. Technology can go beyond the four walls of a traditional classroom or lecture theatre. This 'level playing field' can mitigate inequities based on age, gender, geography, race, religion or wealth.
I believe technology is a driving factor in the pedagogical paradigm shift. The role for educators has transformed from instructors to that of facilitators, knowledge architects and co-learners. It's an exciting time to be involved in education. How do you feel about being an educator in the 21st century?