What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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The future of learning

March 29, 2011, 6:00 AM

We can’t state explicitly or emphatically what the future of learning will look like because things are moving so fast. But we can extrapolate some general characteristics from current trends. For example, in the future our learning will be even more …

  • digital rather than analog / ink on paper
  • informal
  • online and less dependent on local humans
  • mobile
  • networked / interconnected
  • multimedia
  • self-directed / inquiry-based
  • individualized / personalized
  • computer-based and software-mediated and less dependent on live humans
  • open / accessible (in the sense of OER)
  • project-based
  • simulation– or game-based

… than it is now. We’re not going to retrench or go backward on any of these. As educators, parents, and citizens, we need to begin envisioning the implications of these characteristics for learning, teaching, and schooling.

How do we design and operationalize our learning environments to reflect these characteristics? And if we don’t, can we have any hope of staying relevant to the needs of students, families, and society?

[What do you think of this list? Anything you’d add or change?]

Image credit: peteball


The future of learning

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