Development and Sustainability of Learning Societies

Development and Sustainability of Learning Societies

Linda Ellington (Palm Beach Atlantic University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2181-7.ch008
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The chapter reviews the development and sustainability of learning societies, and employs an examination of literature to identify the connections that may assist in the-improvement of the 21st century (21st century) workforce. To increase their learning, it is imperative to create a place that embeds the culture, expectations, and appropriate learning behaviors within the environment. The tools are about the cultivation of connections and communities, not solely based on 21st century technology. This case study explored three key concepts: community connection, policy connection, and netizens’ connection.
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The main purpose of this chapter is to develop a general exploratory approach into the literature that identifies opportunities into improving the 21st century workforce. It will also expand on the understanding of the meaning of connections within a society: community, policy and netizens. As Parks (2005) has expressed, the initial stage will require assisting people in moving beyond the edge of familiar patterns into the unknown terrain of new learning, and new behaviors.

Easton (2007) provides evidence that emphasis on lifelong learning is essentially limited to two important themes: 1) sustainability – or the attempt to devise societies that do not self-destruct or destroy their own environment; and, 2) to undertake modifications that will make learning more accessible. He goes on to further surmise that the challenge is that there is a presumption that people have finely honed abilities to adjust to the many internal changes that society and the environment may sustain. Therefore, sustainability entails a highly developed social and individual capacity for learning. One may ask what is the demand for learning for a sustainable society? What are the challenges of reform to learn new things and to do so in new ways? How are communities to purposefully stress the creation of a ‘learning organization’ as a reformed workplace knowing the human potential must dovetail with the 21st century expectations?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Geezers: “Young people who have worked with digital technology and are the first cohort to have had computers in their elementary school. These are people with 1s and 0s in their blood, and they interact with machines as easily as with other human beings.”

Collaborative Learning: A group of individuals learning through collective intelligence, experiences, and technologies.

Global Community of Learners: Active community that creates conditions where everyone can flourish and there is a balanced view of what lifelong learning is and the purpose of such learning.

Community Connection: All members of the community pulling together their leading edge thinking on the principles of practices of lifelong learning, investing in social capital, and maintaining a delicate balance between social cohesion and individualization.

Lifelong Learners: Learning throughout the entirety of an individual’s lifetime.

Learning Societies: Require a framework for new learning, innovation and new patterns of behavior across multiple contexts of learning.

Netizens: Technology citizens that not only use, but develop technology in all aspects of their learning and build their foundation of professional work, learning, personal journey in technology.

Community of Learners: A group of learners on the edge of new learning and under continuous reflection, the new community learning comes in various shapes and sizes; it is not one size fits all mentality.

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