How Digitalization Changes the Way We Learn
Interview with the digital entrepreneur and futurist Christian Baudis
Mr. Baudis, imagine it is the year 2030 and I am taking an advanced training course to promote my career. What does my learning environment look like?
The decisive difference to today will be that you will no longer need to search for an appropriate training course. A speaking assistant will support you. And where you choose to learn will usually be your personal decision. Like language assistance, the learning program too will be based on artificial intelligence. The input will be accomplished by voice commands. And if you need to visualize something, you will simply link the learning application to a screen, a laptop or your household robot. In about fifteen years, home robots will be as ubiquitous as smartphones are today.
That sounds like a lonesome situation.
Increasing mechanization has led to progressive individualization in society ever since the industrial revolution. Ten years from now, 80 to 90 percent of us will learn individually. The remaining 20 percent will either get together with an expert or share ideas in groups. But this sharing too will take place digitally. The focus on individual learning naturally reduces social interaction. That’s why it is all the more important not to lose sight of this issue when we develop digital content. Education and training will still need face-to-face sharing and genuine experts. Both are indispensable so that can knowledge be creatively linked.
According to the Index for the Digital Economy and Society (DESI) of the European Commission, only six percent of German Internet users* took online courses in 2017. This puts Germany in sixteenth place in the European Union, despite the fact that Germans are known to have good basic digital skills. What is the problem here?
First of all, I want to fundamentally question whether Germans really do have good digital skills. We have a lot of catching up to do. Digitality does not yet play a role in schools, universities or education. We are very sluggish in this and, unfortunately, we are also somewhat arrogant.