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Chapter 1. Meeting the Challenges of the... > Trend 3: Emphasis on Nonstop Learnin...

Trend 3: Emphasis on Nonstop Learning

Learning, so much a part of our lives already, will grow even more crucial in the decades ahead. Our increasing emphasis on learning is obvious everywhere, affecting every child, adolescent, and adult in our society. Learning no longer will be slotted into separate dimensions of one’s life, such as learning for school or learning for work; instead, it will be woven into the fabric of our daily lives. Here are some of the signs:

  • Hybrid words like edutainment are used to describe the weaving together of education and learning with other domains of life (in this case, with entertainment).

  • Terms like intellectual capital, knowledge worker, and accelerated learning are widely accepted, understood, and used in our workplace conversations.

  • The ability to learn constantly has become an essential survival skill for doing simple tasks like programming a VCR, using an ATM, pumping and paying for gasoline, or accessing books in the library—and these examples barely scratch the surface of what’s to come.

  • Technological advances will produce ever-smarter machines and, in turn, that will require smarter people to run them. According to an article in the Society for Human Resource Management’s Workplace Visions (“Technology Trends,” 1999), “Smarter machines will only increase the need for learning and training, rather than decrease it” (p. 3).

  • Educational requirements will continue to rise in an effort to supply our growing business and technology workforce with the skills and knowledge it demands.

  • Many organizations now have chief knowledge officers and chief learning officers.

  • More and more companies are working to position themselves as learning organizations.



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