Mid-Year Predictions About Learning Technologies Lag Behind

Academia Needs To Get Ahead of the Curve

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Lewis Carr, an expert on the use of Moodle in both public and private settings, recently posted a set of 10 predictions for the next “academic year” concerning the future of learning technologies.

For the most part, his predictions are not at all new for corporate training but are probably fresh in the academic world. This is because academia seems to have lagged in the adoption of new learning technologies.

Most times, universities are just finally discovering eLearning, and are recruiting faculty to develop online courses based on classroom presentation models, often using learning management systems such as Moodle.

Let’s take a quick look at Lewis Carr’s predictions.

His first prediction is titled “Heutagogy,” a word coined in 2000 by Stewart Hase and Chris Kenyon of Southern Cross University in Australia, which means “self-determined learning.”

For the past five years, several of us at Float has been writing about how mobile learning shifts the emphasis from teacher-centered curriculum to learner-centered learning based on immediate needs and interests. Nothing new here.

Lewis also predicts the continued growth of online courses despite the bad name that many massively open online courses (MOOCs) have received.

Other predictions include

  1. scenario-based learning,
  2. networked social learning,
  3. personally accountable learning (not clear how this differs from heutagogy),
  4. gamification,
  5. mobile learning (“mEnablement”),
  6. open badges (an approach to gamification),
  7. personalized learning (again, echoes of heutagogy), and
  8. blended learning.


This last prediction is particularly puzzling as this term has been in use in corporate training since at least 1999, and books on blended learning by Kaye Thorne and Josh Bersin were published in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

Corporate learning and development professionals and vendors have been building solutions for over 10 years that include all of Lewis Carr’s predictions for the next year in academia.

It is time for the academy to catch up and get ahead of the curve.

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Gary Woodill is a senior analyst with Float, as well as CEO of i5 Research. Gary conducts research and market analyses, as well as assessments and forecasting for emerging technologies. Gary is the co-editor of "Mastering Mobile Learning," author of “The Mobile Learning Edge,” and the co-author of “Training and Collaboration with Virtual Worlds.” He also presents at conferences and is the author of numerous articles and research reports on emerging learning technologies. Gary holds a doctor of education degree from the University of Toronto.

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On June 20, 2014

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