The OECD has published their list of trends shaping education for 2008. Of the list the following could impact online education:
- life expectancy – has more than doubled throughout the world suggesting more adults will be keen to engage in lifelong learning
- more older adults than children – will increasing health care costs mean less for education?
- growing population – from 6.4 billion to 8.9 by 2050. How will we serve all the students?
- migration to OECD countries – how do we attend to a pluralistic society and diverse needs?
- globalization – means international connections expand the boundaries of regions and students, especially online; it also increases competition and innovation in many fields, including education
- knowledge-intensive service economies – all new jobs are in this sector, calling for specific education, soft skills, and advanced skills of workers
- career changes – more leisure time, more part-time, shorter careers for men, longer careers for women, early retirement, and struggling with obsolete skills are trends seen. Again, more life-long learning opportunities might be a new demand
- threat of temporary work – means it is “important that people leave education with a base of knowledge, skills and qualifications that will give them a firm chance in the job market”
- more women working – this changes the balance of responsibilities between work, home and study. How their needs be met?
- educational attainment – more people, especially women, have higher education (32% of 25- to 34- year olds) and remain longer in school
- spending on education – increase cost means more spending per student. Who will pay for this? It is important to spend more effectively.
- inequalities – participation in education has risen more in developing countries
- internationalization of education – 2.7 million students now study outside their country versus 600,000 in 1975
- digital revolution – development in information and communication technologies and Internet access has risen dramatically (90% growth since 2000). Have schools kept pace? Are teachers prepared well for this? Has students needs changed? Does is change how learning is delivered? Is it more self-paced and directed? How are networks, distance learning and self-learning used as options for education?
- value of information – the increase in information accessed electronically brings issues of information abundance and pollution, copyright and privacy issues, critical analysis (information literacy) as well as digital divide.
- Web 2.0 style – there is a rise in user-created content. How can this be harnessed in education as well as critiqued? Can borrowing and blending others work be considered valuable?