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Rethinking and reinventing learning, education and collaboration in the digital age—from creating technologies to transforming cultures

Gerhard Fischer (University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA)
Johan Lundin (Applied IT, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
J. Ola Lindberg (Department of Education, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 22 September 2020

Issue publication date: 9 November 2020

3038

Abstract

Purpose

The digitalization of society results in challenges and opportunities for learning and education. This paper describes exemplary transformations from current to future practices. It illustrates multi-dimensional aspects of learning which complement and transcend current frameworks of learning focused on schools. While digital technologies are necessary for these transformations, they are not sufficient. The paper briefly illustrates the applicability of the conceptual framework to the COVID-19 pandemic. It concludes that design opportunities and design trade-offs in relation to digital technologies and learning should be explored by envisioning the cultural transformation that are desirable for making learning a part of life.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the work conducted at the symposium “Rethinking and Reinventing Learning, Education, and Collaboration in the Digital Age—From Creating Technologies to Transforming Cultures” that took place in Engeltofta outside of Gävle, Sweden in September 2019. The symposium invited scholars in collaborative analysis of design opportunities and design trade-offs in relation to digital technologies and learning and explored design strategies for systematically and proactively increasing digital technology's contributions to learning and collaborating. The paper first provides a condensed introduction of a conceptual framework summarizing current practices, their problems and promising alternatives. Multi-dimensional aspects of learning and lifelong learning will be briefly described as promising future alternatives to school learning. Examples of transformative practices are supporting the major argument of the paper that creating new technologies is an important prerequisite to address the fundamental challenge of transforming cultures. The unanticipated but fundamental event of the occurrence of COVID-19 will be briefly described to provide further evidence for the need and the applicability of our conceptual framework for rethinking and reinventing learning, education and collaboration in the digital age.

Findings

The paper provides a condensed introduction of a conceptual framework summarizing current practices, their problems and promising alternatives. The framework includes multi-dimensional aspects of learning and lifelong learning as a promising future alternative to a focus on school learning.

Originality/value

This paper describes exemplary transformations from current to future practices. It illustrates multi-dimensional aspects of learning which complement and transcend current frameworks of learning focused on schools.

Keywords

Citation

Fischer, G., Lundin, J. and Lindberg, J.O. (2020), "Rethinking and reinventing learning, education and collaboration in the digital age—from creating technologies to transforming cultures", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 241-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-04-2020-0051

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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