International Forum of Educational Technology & Society

Formal Discussion Initiation

The Future of Learning

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Time schedule:
Discussion: 18 - 27 February 2002
Summing-up: 28 February - 1 March 2002

Alfred Bork
University of California, Irvine, USA


Most discussions of learning are rooted in the present, concerned with the current situation in schools, universities, and training, or with the near future. Our current systems have been in place for many centuries. They come from a time when far fewer people had the opportunity to learn, or needed to learn. They were developed before the availability of modern interactive technologies.

This discussion is driven by the belief that it is very important to look further ahead in thinking about learning. We currently have major problems with our educational systems, at all levels, globally. Learning now needs to be from birth to death. Solutions to these problems may involve new approaches to learning, different than our current strategies. These new ways to learn will not happen overnight. Further, they may not be simply extensions of our current systems, but may involve major changes in the way everyone learns.

So you are invited to explore future strategies for learning with others on this list. Let your imagination range freely! Donít be bound by current approaches to learning. Remember that we are talking about a world with six billion people, soon to be nine billion.

I find some of the most imaginative suggestions for the future of learning come from fiction. So I ask you to begin with a recent paper of mine, "Four Fictional Views of the Future of Learning", available at After you have had a chance to discuss the views presented in this paper, I will suggest further directions for this discussion.



About moderator

Alfred Bork is Professor Emeritus, Information and Computer Science at University of California, Irvine, USA.

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