Deloitte's Vision on the Future of Lifelong Learning

DISRUPTING ED, REDUX: What is the value or purpose of an education? Answers to this contentious question vary depending on who you ask. This report from the Deloitte Center for the Edge does a commendable job recapping the complex changes, questions, perspectives and potential innovations facing individuals, schools, companies and society.

Compounding this metaphysical question is the rapidly changing nature of business and communications, which make it hard to predict the skills that will be desired--or deserted. "The shelf life and relevance of skills are decreasing, while new occupations, roles, titles, and functions are being created at a rapidly accelerating pace," writes the report's authors, who include the sagacious John Seely Brown, former Xerox Chief Scientist and education thought leader. Zipcar co-founder, Robin Chase offers more context: "Our parents had one job, I will have seven jobs, and our children will do seven jobs at one time."

As expectations and norms about education and employment crumble, the learning landscape is left with "fragmented niche providers of content, formats, environments, and experiences." The private, startup sector will force traditional companies and institutions will "to decide where to compete and where to cede." But in spite of the edtech investment boom, "for new entrants to gain traction, they will have to overcome the barriers around brand, acceptance by employers, and comfort with non-authoritative sources of learning and warranting."

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