“The three horizons model was first published in The Alchemy of Growth by Merhdad Baghai, Stephen Coley, and David White in 1999. The fundamental idea behind the model is that we need to be thinking about innovation across three time frames” ~ Time Kastelle
Horizon 1 is about current business – gaining efficiencies and quality – involving analysis and intrepreneurship – its about business operators
Horizon 2 is about extending current business into new and related areas – involving
entrepreneurship and exploration – business builders
Horizon 3 is about radically new types of business – involving imagination and vision.
“Strategy” is often on Horizon 1 and 2 – operational and extension activities. This is probably why the core of education has changed so little. All the narratives around e-learning, MLEs and such like are on Horizon 1 and Horizon 2 – they are about efficiences and extensions within the current paradigm of education – a reinforcement and extension of the current paradigm and reality.
Horizon 3 is about “creative destruction” in a sector to create radical new opportunities – it is where we find the radical narratives of de-institutionalisation and dis-intermediation.
The problem is that Horizon 3 is beyond the vision of so many and if it can be seen or imagined then it can appear more as an hallucination – a psychotic breakdown in reality. Looking forward horizon 3 is indeed a break from current reality but looking backwards the trends can be rationalised historically. Horizon three is full of uncertainity and the unknown – “sanity” can be maintained by the comforting Kodak moment poses in rituals of operational efficiency and business extension Shirkey principles. “There is no Line on the Horizon” - horizon 3 creeps up exponentially – it is a paradigm change in the ecosystem – horizon 1 and horizon 2 strategies of efficiency and extension may not apply in a new paradigm and may be counterprodictive and even toxic.
Steve Jobs is a classic example of someone with the vision to see beyond Horizon three – to see radical new business in the signals all around him. The really distinguishing feature of Steve Jobs was his ability to match vision and imagination with innovation – to work at horizon 1 and horizon 2 in the world of efficiency and extension to actually build the world he could imagine – to combine things to create platforms, business relationships and ecosystems that gave us iTunes, iPods, iPhones and iPads – the new reality that connected cloud and mobile that we take for granted today.
Mediated by Information technology the world in which our formal and traditional education system exists is chaging more significantly than ever before – can education also change significantly – can education imagine what lies beyond horizon 3 aand adjust or will it face a Kodak moment?
How would you create education today if it didn’t already exist?
As Abraham Lincoln is credited with saying “The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It”
How Apple disrupts markets and then goes on to dominate By Greg Satell Extends Tim’s Blog post and uses Steve Jobs and Apple as examples
“High Anxiety” – Anxiety as a dimension in organisational culture By Martin King About the comforting rituals performed in organisations
The last Kodak moment? – Economist article about technological change and failing to adapt
Networks are central to meaning, culture and evolution. They define the community and the circulation of meaning within a community – from a connectivist perspective they define knowledge and meaning, from a memetic perspective they are the means through which memes are transmitted and from a cemetic perspective networks are culture – they are community, meaning and evolution.
However we look at it networks are vital to culture and never before have people been so connected as with the Internet. In terms of numbers 2.3 billion people were online at the end of 2011(33% of all humanity) and by 2020 it is expected that 5 billion people will be connected – 66% of all humanity. While the scale of internet connectivity is important it is the nature of this connectivity that is even more important – web 2, social media and social networks mean that anyone who is connected can be heard globally and contribute their ideas. In the next decade 3 billion new minds will become connected and most of these will be from developing countries – introducing new voices into our global networks.
The number and diversity of connections and inputs into the network is important. From a memetic view this increases the variety and mutation of memes available for selection and inheritance. When considering the problems of genetic inbreeding then memetic diversity and a large meme pool can only be healthy for humanity. From a connectivist view the number and diversity of connections and inputs into the network increases the richness of meaning, the strength of weak ties and opportunities for tipping points.
Marshall McLuhan wrote about how a communications medium affects society and as digital networks play an increasing role in mediating our culture then the power law behaviours of digital technology and social networks increasingly affect our culture such that culture itself becomes subject to the same self-reinforcing social and technology power laws of the network that mediates it. As the speed, scale and scope of networks increases so does the the speed, scale and scope of the culture these networks mediate.
Kevin Kelly describes the intersection of humanity with technology as a Technium – an integral view of technology and humanity in which technology is a natural and inherent dimension of what it means to be human .. integral to human existence and evolution”
Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle’s concept of Web Squared describes the Intersection of Web 2.0 with the world and explores what becomes possible when the building blocks of Web 2.0 (such as participation, collective intelligence and so on) increase by orders of magnitude.
Ray Kurzweil focuses specifically on technological exponential rates of change and argues that the Accelerating Returns of exponential growth will eventually create a tipping point to what he calls The Singularity – a time when the change graph over time is vertical change and we reach an era of unpredictability, apparent chaos and uncertainty that only our machines will understand. Kurzweil makes a compelling case – “It took the printing press 400 years to reach a large audience, it took the telephone 50 years, the mobile phone seven years, and social networks only three. The pace of innovation will only continue to accelerate, he says, because exponential evolution is built into the very nature of technology”
While we are still a long way from Kurzweil’s singularity the Genie is out of the bottle and “Too Big To Know” , Ruining Everything and helping a “generation to find its voice”. We are approaching a point of no return – a network Event horizon – a Web Squared Technium where scale, scope and the self-reinforcing social and technology power laws of a technology mediated connectivist memetic (Cemetic) culture generate a cambrian explosion of diversity, uncertainty and non-linear emergent viral exponential change.
While all this sounds like the the beginning of the end of civilisation and pretty apocalyptic (and many believe there will be apocalypse in 2012) Douglas Adams urges us to “Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet” and that:
1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Culture can be considered as the circulation of meanings within a community. A culture can be considered through the nature of its community (members and connections), through the way meanings circulate and through the nature of its meanings (as manifest in ideas and behaviours). Community, connection and meaning are so interconnected that they have to be considered holistically – each defined through the others and each shaped through the others.
Memetics is a powerful theory with which to explore how meaning develops and evolves. In Memetics there is a “unit” of culture called the Meme – an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices. In Memetics memes are analogous to genes in biology – memetics considers how memes develop and evolve through natural selection in a manner analogous to that of biological evolution through variation, mutation, competition and inheritance.
Connectivism considers meaning as emergent from the connections and associations in a network – it could be considered as the application of neuro-psychology associative memory and learning ideas to culture. For connectivism learning and the development of meaning are “the process of creating connections and developing a network”.
For me, Memetics alone doesn’t go quite far enough in considering the holistic connected nature of culture and meaning - the way meaning, culture and the network (the medium) are one.
Connectivism sees the holistic nature of culture, meaning and the network but connectivism alone doesn’t go far enough in considering how they evolve.
A connectivist perspective on memetics would view the meme as a network connection configuration – something emergent from the connectivity pattern in a network and something I would describe as a ceme (connectivist meme).
A Memetic perspective on connectivism would view the network through evolutionary terms – seeing variations and mutations competing for selection and inheritance – something I would describe as Cemetics.
What I am proposing is a concept that combines the memetic view with the connectivist view to get a holistic perspective on culture, connection and meaning – the ceme.
Ceme: connected emergent meaning evolution (Connectivist Meme) – a unit of culture which has evolved through the natural selection of emergent variations and mutations in network connectivity configurations.
Cemetics considers how cemes develop and evolve through the natural selection and inheritance of emergent variations and mutations in network connectivity configurations.
Networks are central to meaning, culture and evolution. They define the community and the circulation of meaning within a community; from a connectivist perspective they define knowledge and meaning, from a memetic perspective they are the means through which memes are transmitted and from a cemetic perspective networks are culture – they are community, meaning and evolution.
With our lives increasingly mediated by technology and with that technology radically evolving this blog outlines the case that in 2012 we should expect more “real world” effects and disruption from our technology as the gravitational force from the not too distant singularity pulls us into a Web Squared Technium.
The Genie Escapes The Bottle
Computers are shaking off their mortal coils – we are letting them out of the fixed, high maintenance boxes we have kept them in all these years and giving the finger to the mouse. Computers need not be WIMPs. There is new creativity and imagination in the development of more natural computer interfaces and forms – many of these are growing from Apple seeds.
I think that in 2012 we will see the start of quickening radical shift in the way we interact with computers – near past predictions are already looking wildly conservative – e.g. Gartners prediction that 50% of computers bought for those under 15 years of age will be touch , Read Write Web’s predication that gestural interfaces for your living room are five years away.and Augmented Planet’s predication that Augmented reality glasses are 20 years away
The combination of natural interfaces and new computer forms are revolutionising what we think of as computers and their impact – here are some of the major developments
Using a finger to point to something is one of our earliest actions – no wonder there are plenty of examples of babies using iPads and even with other species – Orangutans take easily to iPads as well. Today’s children are the “touch generation” – Haptic interfaces are so natural that development is bound to be exponential and they will develop as these children grow up
“A picture paints a thousand words” and in many cases its just so difficult to describe an action in words. In his TED video Chris Anderson describes how web video powers global innovation by empowering everyone both literate and non literate. I’ve also noticed how many people are using Skype and Facetime and how useful Google video chat and G+ Video hangouts are for meetings – I’m sure that we will see an explosion in the use of video and visual communications and interfaces in 2012 and one of the most exciting maybe video glasses – Lumus are expected to show their glasses at CES in January for OEM production later in the year.
Things get really interesting when our computers start to “understand” what they are “seeing”. Facial recognition is scareably accurate and Google and Apple dveloping facial recognition for their smartphones. Things get even more interesting when our computers understand our gestures – Microsoft’s Kinect has ushered in a new interface era and the race is on to augment our technology interfaces with gesture – expect to see gesture appearing everywhere from games (of course) to TVs computers and smartphones.
Voice interfaces have been developed over a very, very long time but failed to go mainstream. As is often the case Apple have seeded a revolution and with Siri Apple has breathed new life into voice. Some consider this to be “The invisible interface of the future” and has of course kick started competition – Google are expected to release their answer to Siri ,“Majel” early in 2012
Computers come to their senses (and our senses)
Traditional desktop computers suffer terrible sensory deprivation compared with mobiles which are bristling with sensors and connectivity. New technology can see us, hear us and understand our gestures. Putting all this together means 2012 may mark a change in our relationship with technology we will really start to be able to interact more naturally with our technology - much like we interact with people and animals.
In 2010 Google’s Reto Meier predicted The Future of Mobile: Invisible, connected devices with infinite screens but his time frames look conservative now. I won’t attempt to say when but below are some of the what – all this may happen quicker than we think.
Technology and Social Powers
Dion Hinchcliffe lists and describes most of the well known power “laws” in Digital technology and social theory in his post Twenty-two power laws of the emerging social economy – here are a few of the main ones taken from Dion’s list
The processing power of a microchip doubles every 18 months such that computers become faster and the price of a given level of computing power halves every 18 months.
The total bandwidth of communication systems triples every 12 months.
The potential value of a network grows exponentially according to its size so that as a network grows, the value of being connected to it grows exponentially, while the cost per user remains the same or even reduces.
The network effect of social systems is much higher than would otherwise be expected such that The Utility of a (social) network scales exponentially with the overall size of a network.
Reflexivity (social theory)
Describes how social systems are often self reinforcing, how social actions influence the fundamental behavior of social systems and how social systems can tend towards disequilibrium.
The Pareto Principle
Roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes – the famous “80:20” rule.
Principle of Least Effort
People basically vote with their feet to the easiest solution in the least exacting way available.
Everything Goes Square
While some believe there will be apocalypse in 2012 I think there are signs of major a transformation in human affairs facilitated and catalysed by technology.
With our lives increasing mediated by technology and with that technology radically changing the signs are set for a period of significant and fast (even exponential) change from self-reinforcing social and technology power laws.
Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle describe this era as Web Squared – an era of exponential technology and real world change from the combination of Web 2.0 technology and philosophies with social, mobile, real-time and sensors.
It’s as if technology has its own irresistible momentum – something which Kevin Kelly describes in “What Technology Wants” – a Technium with “its own inherent agenda and urges”. Kelly’s Technium describes the intersection of humanity with technology:
“The technium may be described as an integral view of technology and humanity in which technology is a natural and inherent dimension of what it means to be human .. the technium is integral to human existence and evolution”
Ray Kurzweil argues that Accelerating Returns on exponential growth will eventually create a tipping point to what he calls The Singularity – a time when the change graph over time is vertical change and we reach an era of unpredictability, apparent chaos and uncertainty that only our machines will understand. Kurzweil makes a compelling case – “It took the printing press 400 years to reach a large audience, it took the telephone 50 years, the mobile phone seven years, and social networks only three. The pace of innovation will only continue to accelerate, he says, because exponential evolution is built into the very nature of technology”
While we are a long way from the type of rapid change Kurzweil predicts, O’Reilly and Battelle’s Web Squared is already being felt. Time’s 2011 person of the year (The Protester) is symbolic of the changes in which technology is implicated when web meets world – helping a “generation to find its voice”. David Weinberger doesn’t hold back in “Too Big To Know” and describes how the Internet Is Ruining Everything. If 2011 is anything to go by we should expect more “real world” effects and disruption from our technology as the gravitational force from the not too distant singularity pulls us into a Web Squared Technium.
One response to anything new is to attempt to assimilate it – to fit it into existing models. While it could be argued that Education has attention blindness to technology I think the problem with education and technology goes deeper – a combination of the Shirky Principlecausing education to become stuck into attempting to assimilate technology to reinforce existing models. – the end result being a system that is robust to change yet ever more expensive and irrelevant. One meaning for the E in E-learning is “Expensive”.
However, when context change is so radical attempts to assimilate it leave one disconnected from reality (psychotic) and sustained by rituals and delusions.
Technology can flip our reality:
That which was once scarce becomes abundant
That which was once difficult becomes easy
That which was once once expensive becomes cheap (or free)
That which was once large becomes small
That which was once institutional becomes personal
The technology context within which education operates has changed so radically over the last decade that education must find ways of altering its existing models to accommodate a changing reality – educated learning needs to find a way to accommodate its flip side – uneducated learning or risk increasing irrelevance.
Lets have a look at just two of these flipping changes.
Flipping Space – Time
Educational space and time is a scheduled batch process in specified locations – the meeting – otherwise know as timetabled classes.
Classrooms and timetables were a necessary batch process to distribute scarce resources and time to abundant learners – move the learners to resources to meet at specified times in specified places.
Nowadays learning resources can be accessed almost anytime and anyplace – learners no longer need to wait to be batch processed in a timetabled classroom – learning can happen anyplace, anytime in real-time on demand – Indeed, better learning happens this way.
Technology resources were once expensive and scarce and education quite rightly provided these for learning – computers, email, storage space and applications.
Nowadays many learners have their own personal technology resources and they are usually much easier and better than those provided by education yet education often chooses to ignore or even ban learners personal technology. Education must accommodate to the reality that learning can take place using learners own resources – Indeed, better learning happens this way.
How to accommodate – strip down
Education has used technology to build a suite of armour – a lumbering and reinforced steampunk monstrosity of defence – sucking in increasing resources to reinforce, maintain and move. Within its suite of armour education is blind to the world around it and unable to move fast enough it will become isolated and left behind in a world of its own.
Education needs to strip down – throw off its suite of armour – become part of the world in which it exists and use the resources of its environment.
Education needs to flip from institutional to personal – the conditions to do this are emerging from cheaper, pervasive, abundant, personal and connected mobile computing.
How to look good Naked
Here are some Rules Of Thumb – ROT to do
* Go Web
Use the web – avoid platform and paper dependencies.
* Go Mobile
Resources have to be useable on a smartphone anyplace and anytime
* Go Free
Use free open web based resources – the sort that any learner and teacher can use anywhere with no support overheads.
* Go Wild
Think of teaching and learning as wilderness survival – a lifelong skill in how to find and use the natural resources of the web. Think of the smartphone as a survival multi-tool.
* Go Open
Use and produce public open resources
* Go Connected
“The network is our computer” – Invest in your networks – especially wireless, guest and Internet connections.
“Value is in the network not the nodes”
MASH and connect your own and others content.
Develop Personal Learning Networks (PLNs)
* Go Outside
- Think and Design systems outside the classroom and outside the school or college – think Web, Mobile and Global.
* Go Personal
Encourage and use people’s own personal resources and identity.
* Go Equal
Invest and focus on digital equality
The Education system as we know it today has been shaped by the forces of the last 150 years – it is very much a product of the industrial revolution and the industrial age. Education, like industrialisation, has become driven by quantitative metrics of production and consumption predicated on specialisation, division of labour, standardisation, consistency and quality control. While the production of test grades has been dramatically successful the economics of their production are changing significantly.
Information is the natural resource of the education system – during the industrial era access to information was relatively controlled and scarce. The Web has upset the “economy” of information – with the web information has become abundant and uncontrolled.
Production methods in education have remained largely unchanged over 150 years (institutions and teachers) while the costs of these operation have increased. The application of technology, while not altering operational methods, has added massively to production costs.
If test results are the “currency” of education then the very success of education in producing test results has led to a type of test result inflation.
Education systems are complicated and the effects of “economic” pressures are difficult to predict – there are many scenarios.
The future of education described here is predicated on the strength of institutional-power - the Machiavellian like “Shirky Principle” that “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.
Production cost: Solution
While technology has been a key factor in reducing production costs in industry through automation efficiencies this hasn’t happened in education. The resource of education is information but the types and uses of information technology used so far have only added to production costs.
Educational technologists may get excited about the prospect of increasing use of information technology in educated learning but it may not be the future they are expecting.
A Machiavellian education system will seek ways to reduce labour and production costs through particular uses of information technology.
The future of education will be automated through information technology
The future of education will be increasingly measured, specialised, standardised, consistent and quality controlled through information technology.
Education will be produced and available through Managed Learning Environments with automated testing and resource delivery. Help with the education product (MLE) will be available through support operatives (teachers) able to coach users through the system, get test scores and progress to the next level. Ultimately this user support will be provided through automated guidance or globalised “call centre” operators.
Resource costs: Solution
A Machiavellian education system will seek ways to define and control the value of and access to its own resources. The education system will create increasingly self referencing resources, processes, tests and measures to maintain control of its own “currency” and resources. While it may be possible to take an automated test without an associated course it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve as well as those who have had access to the specialised resources and teaching that support the test. Ultimately it will not be possible to take a test without first enrolling on a course where you can be properly processed for the test and it will not be possible to enrol without first having been processed through lower level courses.
Currency Inflation: Solution
If test grades are the “currency” and purpose of education then a Machiavellian education system will seek “monetary” policies to maintain control. “Exchange rates” and “denominations” willbe defined as required to alter the value of the currency rather than the value of the system – for example, if too many people achieve grade A then the system can define additional sub units such as A* Ultimately testing will feedback and through the entire system so that all experiences are properly aligned for maximum production. Exam boards will produce automated managed learning environments to align and process learners through to final testing.
The education system is like a self contained bubble from the the past industrial era. If institutional-power factors shape the response of the education system to future pressures then the future may be an expanding education bubble – self contained and reinforced by technology
Uneducated learning can take place almost anywhere the learner is able to learn according to circumstance – often at a location of the learners choice or best suited to the learning depending on circumstances. For example, uneducated learning can take place at home; while travelling; in the workplace or even at an institution of educated learning.
Uneducated learning can combine any area of learning in any way the learner is able to – uneducated learning is undetermined and can lead anywhere.
Uneducated learners are able to both “consume” and produce learning resources and opportunities – they are able to be both “learners” and “teachers”.
Undeducated learning can take place at any time the learner is able to learn and be of any duration the learner chooses according to circumstances.
Undeducated learning can occur in any sequence the learner is able to learn and at any age they are able to according to circumstances.
Uneducated learning has no formal or central authority to control learning content and opportunity – the uneducated learner can choose to learn anything from anywhere they are able to according to circumstance.
Uneducated learning generally starts with the learner seeking answers to questions and continues with more questions – there are no limits as to where the questions might lead and the learners questions determine the learning experience.
Uneducated learning is intimately connected and situated in the learner’s world – the learners work, play, family, interests, friends relationships, culture etc at aparticlualt times and circumstances.
Uneducated learning uses any available resources from anyone and any uneducated learner can contribute to uneducated learning resources – learners decide which to use and how.
Educated learning is
Educated learning generally takes place through necessity. The state requires educated learning to the age of 16 and most work and further education requires tested grades from the education system
Educated learning generally takes place within the structure institutions called schools, colleges or universities.
Educated learning follows prescribed standardised schemes called syllabi, schemes of work and lesson plans.
Educated learning is quality controlled. Learner tests before and during courses help match courses and learners and ensure that course quality and achievements are as high as possible.
Educated learning takes place within the standardised quality controlled bounds that institution subject and timetable combinations of a curriculum makes possible.
Educational learning takes place with the environment and resources of the institution external connections are not necessary and learners are deliberately disconnected during periods of testing.
Closed and Private
Educated learning is closed and private. Many resources are kept closed by educators and accessed provided to learners as needed. Learners generally work alone on assignments and submit them for marking in private for grading by a subject expert.
Educated learning is organised around subjects and subject cluster/combinations. Subjects have names like chemistry or history and define what can be learned.
Educated learning is based upon expertise and expert knowledge. Learning is judged and graded by experts against expert criteria. Experts have names like teacher, lecturer and professor.
In Educated learning those who do the learning are called pupils, students or learners. Those who teach are called teachers, lecturers or professors.
Educated learning is based around finding the right answers to the questions set by teachers.. Learners are tested and graded on the answers to questions.
Hierarchical and Elitist
Educated learning is organised and accessed in a hierarchy. Learners progress through levels – higher levels are less available and accessible than lower levels. Higher levels are more respected than lower levels.
Educated learning is organised sequential through a course. A course is usually delivered to the learning through period of time known a a term and associated with the calendar. Access to educated learning is often associated with the learners age.
Educated learning generally involves the learning of specific content, skills and techniques upon which the learner is assessed.
Educated learning generally takes place at specific times in specific locations – usually in meetings called lessons or lectures. Learning is usually tested by answering questions on specific content or performance of specific skills within a specific time and at a specific place.
Educated learners must attend. Learners are marked on their attendance and may not be able entered for final testing unless a minimum standard for attendance has been achieved.
Education has been very successful in meeting the supply side of the demand for test grades – through considerable focus on quality, control, targets and achievement outcomes overall test grades get better every year.
Maximising test grades has become the purpose of education – we can’t fault the system for effectively meeting demand. Learners demand test grades – to get a job; to get on a course, or as consumers as a return on investment for tuition fees. Education itself demands test grades – as input quality controls to maintain course achievement levels for competition and to secure funding.
So, what’s wrong with teaching to the test – the system is effectively meeting demand for test results.
The purpose of education is to supply demand.