Pervasive, high-bandwidth wireless networks; cloud-based processing; and fast-growing repositories of digital information, including a rising tide of data from networked sensors and information analysis tools, are among the computing trends that will influence higher education in the next seven years, according to researcher and author Christine Borgman, who outlined what learning might look like in 2015 at last week’s EDUCAUSE conference in Orlando, Network World reports. Borgman based her presentation on a recently released report by the National Science Foundation’s Task Force on Cyber Learning, which Borgman chaired. The report, "Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyber Learning Opportunity and Challenge," is available online. Cool and precise, Borgman reminded her listeners that today’s students, whom she called "digital natives," already are using many of these tools on their own to understand their world and to learn, often in nontraditional ways, outside of formal education structures. Yet the classrooms into which these students are herded are unchanged, for the most part, from those of their parents or even their grandparents. When they take their seat in a row of other seats, students in effect step back in time, out of their connected, real-time relationship with the web, with friends, with information. In 2015, learning–as distinct from "education"–will be fully accessible, not only at school but at home and other areas outside of class, Borgman predicted. Simulations, remote virtual labs, and data-visualization tools will let students work with vast amounts of real-time data. At home, students will have seamless access to resources of all kinds and will share in virtual interactions with classmates, teachers, and others. Teachers will be able to track how students are interacting with course materials, identifying problems early and helping students toward successful learning…

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