"We are rapidly entering a new era in which our economy, our institutions, and our societal structures – indeed, the very bedrock of our lives – are shifting at an accelerating pace. This new era promises to change learning so dramatically that both the ways in which education prepares learners and the reasons why people pursue learning could look drastically different than they do today.
Many factors are contributing to this era shift, among them new social norms, organizational approaches, and economic models. Above all, exponential advances in digital technologies are changing our world at an unprecedented pace.
Our devices are becoming increasingly smaller, more efficient, connected, and affordable. We do not just use them; we wear them as extensions of our bodies and adornments to ourselves. Data is captured in vast amounts, creating ever more detailed images of our realities, behaviors, and patterns. Increasingly sophisticated computational tools and algorithms are ushering in smart machines such as driverless cars; robots that work alongside humans; and digital helpers that can think, learn, anticipate our needs and wants, and even create art. Such developments are disrupting organizational and business models, reconfiguring civic relationships, and changing the role of employment in people’s lives. They will also have a profound effect on how, when, and why people learn."