The Learning Revolution - On-line Introduction

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Introduction

21


UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

   For the first time, we now know how to store almost all the world's most important information and make it available instantly, in almost any form, to almost anyone on earth - and to link everyone together in a global networked learning web.
   This power enables even developing countries to bypass the industrial revolution and leap straight into the age of information and innovation.
   The obvious face of the communications revolution is the world total of 250 million personal computers - growing to 500 million by 2002 - and the worldwide Internet that links them together. But "pulsating below the surface are the invisible catalysts for change: the 6 billion noncomputer silicon chips embedded in your car, stereo, rice cooker and thousands of other items."
2 The computer in your cellular phone has more power than all the computers used during World War II combined."3
   More important is the network revolution. Says Canadian researcher and author Don Tapscott in The Digital Economy: "We are at the dawn of an Age of Networked Intelligence - an age that is giving birth to a new economy, a new politics, and a new society."
   The seismic scope of this change forces us to completely rethink everything we've ever understood about learning, education, schooling, business, economics and government.
   In fact, schools can successfully introduce information technology only if they rethink the role of teaching and learning. If every student can retrieve knowledge when required, then the teacher's main role is no longer that of a information-provider.
   At last we are also learning to make use of the most brilliant human resource of all: the almost limitless power of the billions of cells and trillions of connections that make up the average human brain.
   The possibilities are breathtaking:
    To prosper in the new one-world economy, would you like to learn to speak a foreign language fairly competently in only four to eight weeks?*
    In a world where school dropouts have no future, would you like to be guaranteed that your children will catch up at school in under ten weeks - even if they are now three years behind?
    In a world where knowledge is exploding, would you like to be able

*Breakthroughs summarized early in this book are explained fully later, and some chapter notes are sourced to those fuller explanations.

 

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