Digitalization of society is one of the fundamental challenges for the future. The development and broad availability of digital technologies has created new unique challenges, opportunities and pitfalls for Rethinking and Reinventing Learning, Education, and Collaboration in the Digital Age.
The symposium will be focused on the basic assumption that the existence of and access to new information technologies is necessary but not sufficient. Of complementary importance will be who will be empowered to design, create, invent, and choose to use the technologies to enhance their personal and professional lives, as well as social worlds. Achieving this goal will require a cultural transformation: complementing and advance a print culture to a digital culture.
It is also of central importance to consider what knowledge is necessary to take an active part in such a transformation. What should be taught in school to allow future generations to be active participants in this transformation?
Addressing Wicked and Systemic Problems
We believe with Karl Popper that “The search for knowledge does not start from perceptions, or observations, or collection of data or facts, but it starts from problems.” Many of the problems facing Learning, Education, and Collaboration in the Digital Age can be conceptualized as design trade-offs with representative examples being:
increasing versus decreasing the digital divide with new learning opportunities;
exploiting “big data” for personalization versus violating privacy;
developing new curricula versus providing more support for interest-driven, self-directed learning;
automating human activities (e.g.: creating “artifacts that think”) versus enriching and empowering humans (e.g.: creating “artifacts to think with”)
democratizing decision making processes versus overburden citizens with personally irrelevant information and activities;
being in control (autonomy) versus being controlled (prescriptive guidance);
finding a balance between flexibility versus stability in working life;
sustaining knowledge in humans versus sustaining human knowledge in machines
the introduction of tools and system on a global scale does on the one hand provide equal opportunities and access, but on the other hand risk to standardize human culture, harming local and cultural variations