thoughts on the future of education

As I was surfing and getting pulled under the water [1] of the open educational web today I came across an excellent essay “Open Educational Resources and the future of institutions” by Grahm Attwell on pontydysgu. It’s about the future of educational resources and how they will fit into how students will learn in the future including their decision to or not to attend university.

The idea that learning at one’s own rate as opposed to a structured four year period where you get some grades then stop and go into the workforce is intriguing.

Although the degree of regulation regarding qualifications and the weight such qualifications carry for employment varies between sectors and countries, in general we might expect that increasingly employers will look to a person’s digital identity and digital record of learning, rather than accepting qualifications as the basis for employment.

The writer acknowledges Universities still have a future place in learning, but that it’s one that needs to change -

“institutions may have a role in motivating and supporting the learning of students at particular phases in their (lifelong) learning. But this requires far more flexibility than our present (higher) education systems provide.”

Personally I think learning outside the classroom is far more important than learning inside, but that doesn’t mean university is not extremely important. Indeed, university gives many people intellectual outlets they’d not otherwise have, and gives teenagers a chance to grow into adults [2] with less pressure than they’d find entering the workforce directly.


  1. That is to say, I only wanted to look for a minute or two and stayed for over ten times that long.
  2. This is probably where I learned the most in college.

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