Learning and education are faced with a world that is quick to reinvent itself. A bachelor’s degree in a university, in general, takes 3-4 four years to complete. In that timeframe, the amount of information available in the world will have doubled 3-4 times over. In the span of a few years, new industries will have blossomed while old ones have been snuffed out of existence. The pace of change is genuinely breathtaking. How do we respond to this? Will we bend and break under the indomitable challenge of the times? Do we choose to cover our eyes and ears and hope that whatever we are doing now is going to be enough?
No! We will plant our feet firmly on the ground and stare the beast of perpetual change straight in the eyeball!
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is what TEDxOtaniemiED and its topic “Designing for love of learning” is all about: finding solutions to one of the greatest challenges of our time. And here’s what we mean when we say it.
The nature of our learning has never mattered more. As information and facts are in constant flux and ever since the advent of near-omniscient internet, the adoption of plain knowledge has become less and less important. We must move on from solitary fact-bingeing to social fact-making. Co-creation. Interaction. Our learning needs to focus on teaching us skills that help us navigate this world of constant change. We need to be able to understand a multitude of fields, create new information in dynamic environments, and apply it in the right place, in the right way.
This means that our learning needs change just as rapidly, and that out learning and teaching must change too. None of us learn anything, though, if we feel we’d rather be doing something else with our time.
We believe that learning and having fun with it is the best way to grow and want to learn even more. We want to love learning and we want to discover which circumstances make this happen. It is impossible to love learning if there is no inherent motivation to learn. How can we help people to discover what they love, what they are naturally good at, what they wish to pursue with all of their being? How do we create environments and situations where individual talent is not throttled, but can thrive, while still maintaining excellent academic rigour? And how do we settle this with the requirement for formal education? Or do we have to?
Our educational systems are struggling to keep up with this constant upheaval of learning contents and the displacement of old professions by previously unforeseen ones in the job market. They are no longer able to respond to these changes in a timely manner. Our children are faced with the glaring disparity between their everyday digital lives and the outdated pedagogy of their classrooms.
We need to reinvent our educational systems. How can they react to the changing world? How can we ensure that we learn the skills we need to learn, that really are relevant? How do we recreate our cumbersome, slow-in-evolving, nigh-on-stale school systems? And if we manage this, are traditional degrees still relevant? And who decides, in this world of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and endless digital content, which degree is relevant and which isn’t?
Designing for love of learning
If we learn to love learning, if we find ways to create systems that foster just that passion for knowledge co-creation, if we manage to integrate the latest of the digital revolution into the learning process, then there truly can be no limit to human ability. If we manage this, then we can begin to design for love of learning. And when that happens, we will see a revolution of education in the entire world.
As with every revolution, the change begins with an idea. An idea that is shared by a group of people who wish to see a change in the world. It starts with us, with you. And it starts, we hope, with TEDxOtaniemiED.
Come join us!
TEDxOtaniemi ED Core Team
Remember to follow on Twitter!