Saturday, June 23, 2012
CT12 > General Keynote: Meeting the Challenge of Change: Historical Models of Transformation and Lessons for Higher Education
7/18/2012 > 8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
George Siemens Ph.D
Associate Director, Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute Athabasca University
Higher education leaders and faculty are increasingly aware of dramatic change patterns beginning to surround academia as our organizations meet the untried processes and emerging customs of the digital realm. Most of the agents of these changes are, from our current perspectives, unpredictable and unmanageable as we enter into a new knowledge infrastructure, highly connected learning and work environments, and overhauled business practices.
For many, these changes appear to be a gathering storm, disconcerting as it threatens to erode the important role that universities play in knowledge exploration and preserving a just and fair society. For others, a constellation of change pressures—technological, economic, and social—seem to offer an unprecedented opportunity for universities to embrace a long-predicted, and much needed, transformation.
While the future of universities remains unclear, historical cycles of upheaval and models of transformation can serve as guides. Siemens will connect historical periods of substantial and systemic change—such as major technological advancements, socio-economic transitions, and the electrification of America—to a useful model for higher education, for interpreting and anticipating the trajectory of existing trends and identifying opportunities for true education innovation.