Pattern recognition: A new model for education
A generation exists that has never experienced life without the Internet. They are always connected, always communicating, and most important, always creating. Participation is a thing of the past. This generation is not passive. They are active creators who demand custom and personal experiences from the products and services they invite into their lives.
The creation driven generation is being raised in an unprecedented culture of change. One of the areas that is poised to require the most change is education. Today, education is not about an institution, but rather it is become an eco-system within our communities.
The KnowledgeWorks Foundation recently released the 2020: Forcast: Creating the Future of Learning. The report outlines the key drivers of change that are affecting education as we know it. One of the biggest drivers of change is the idea of Knowledge in terms of where we get information and what we do with that information.
Knowledge is changing from definitive ideas to the idea of discovery. As the amount of information continues to proliferate, there is an immediate need to develop new tools for both visualizing data, identifying patterns, and deriving meaning. The report develops the idea of “data trails” as both our online and offline activities will be tracked and monitored.
“Social media and collaborative tools will leave “data trails” of people’s online interactions — including contributions to group activities, inquiries and searches, skills, digital resources, and preferences (such as playlists, buddy lists, and topics tracked) — and social networks. At the same time, sensors and global positioning systems in devices such as cell phones and car navigation systems will be able to capture location-based information along with health and environmental data. Together these tools will provide a robust, visible “data picture” of our lives as citizens, workers, and learners. Families, learners, educators, and decision-makers will need to become sophisticated at pattern recognition in order to create effective and differentiated learning experiences and environments.”
The ultimate challenge lies in not simply finding information, but training ourselves to make the information meaningful. To accomplish this, education needs to focus on developing students in the areas of visual literacy, pattern recognition, critical thinking, and sensemaking. At the core of the new learner’s skillset is the idea of discovery. Traditionally, education has been focused on the definitive, but today, it needs to be re-framed around the idea of developing a generation who understands how to draw their own insight and develop action through discovery.