Howard Rheingold joined a team of debaters in Trondheim including Lars Persen, Øystein Imsen, Kjel Atle Halvorsen and live participants by video conference from Australia, France, UK and Zimbabwe. Howard kicked off the debate by giving a ten minute presentation about the implications of social media and virtual communities (a term he is credited with inventing) on how we learn. Marianne Hagelia, joined the debaters in Trondheim and also monitored the Twitter stream along with Dawn Hallybone. Gavin Dykes chaired the debate.
The debate discussed how, having entered the post-modern age of connectivity, education is under a lot of pressure. Skills demanded by companies are changing rapidly. Innovation, problem solving, collaboration and digital literacy are expected in many professions.
With continuously changing conditions, we can say that a digital literate person is someone who can learn, unlearn and re-learn and he or she must adapt to a number of platforms and choose tools and processes appropriate for each specific task.
At the same time the social context for learning has changed and is continuously changing. Children are adapting use of social media and collaborative tools, but often find that their learning environments are still quite traditional and for them one-dimensional.
How does education meet these challenges and how do we have to rethink how we learn for the 21st century?