Learning in the digitally transforming world – challenges and chances
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The contemporary university – as any other educational, social, business, or government institution – functions in condition of what David Harvey has called time-space compression: everything is happening here without distances, differences or frontiers; and everything is happening now without past or future. The very structure of the knowledge has changed: it has become complex, interdisciplinary, rather problem-based than discipline-based. Purely intellectual knowledge is no longer relevant; its true value is determined by its potential for commercial application. Besides, with constant advent of new technologies, both knowledge and skills turn obsolete in no time. Thus, the university must equip learners with tools, strategies and resources which would allow them to independently upgrade their knowledge and skills whenever demanded throughout their after-university professional or academic careers. In the present article, I outline new literacies essential for a learner to study in a technology-enhanced global classroom, and review the potential of the new technology for education. I then consider constructing Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) as a means to individualize and support learning in different contexts. Having gained attention of educators since 2004, PLE represents an evolving trend in sustainable education due to its potential to let learners create their own educational spaces in order to direct their own learning, to pursue individual educational goals, and to expand learning far beyond the classroom.
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