Prof Ron Johnston
Bio: Professor Ron Johnston, Executive Director of the Australian centre for Innovation Ltd at the University of Sydney, is one of Australia's leading analysts of change. Over the past fifteen years he has mapped and publicised the forces of change emerging from new technologies, changing patterns of international competitiveness and trade, new organisational structures, and shifts in social values. He is currently focussed on the emerging knowledge economy underpinned by electronic connectivity and the need to understand the enormous changes that it will have on education, work and leisure.
Paper title: Globalisation of the Information Economy Implications for Learning
Abstract: Globalisation and the Information Economy are almost synonymous. Each drives the other, generating new fast-moving capabilities and markets for information, and knowledge, and the services and products based on them. These drivers challenge almost every assumption we hold about learning - its purpose, its function, its structure, its organisation, its delivery, and its value.
Some direct implications for the organisation of learning are presented by dramatic growth in demand and hence market size, pressures of market segmentation, the technology-assisted drive for codification, and consequent displacement of knowledge by information and the potential capability of future search engines. In addition, in an environment of enhanced information access, the privileging skills are very different from traditional knowledge skills eg pattern recognition, tolerance for ambiguity and improvisation.
Long-held structures and cultures are also under pressure. Increasingly, the age/achievement-based distinction between school, TAFE and university, the activity-based distinction between work and learning, and the locational distinction between home and learning have little obvious meaning or justification. How do we prepare for a world of potentially ubiquitous learning?