I’m reading this piece through an educator’s eyes. This report from PwC appears to suggest that the education sector survives relatively well within the tsunami of digital unemployment to come. Perhaps a sense of relief, perhaps not. But also the piece continues to emphasise the importance of education in helping people to cope, suggesting “an argument for government intervention in education, lifelong learning and job matching to ensure the potential gains from automation were not concentrated in too few hands.” Hum: I wonder it’s that’s a fair and sustainable expectation to put on education. Even allowing for possible media hyping of the report, the projection seems bigger than simply an education quick-fix. Something more societal is in possible view here. If a new industrial revolution is underway, then education will be part of the mix, not the totality of it.
I’m also reading this piece with Jeremy Knox’s ‘Abstracting Learning Analytics’ in mind, and his analogies to art. Visit any historical art gallery, and one will see works of art which are, to varying extents, separated from their circumstances of production. Likewise architecture (and digital cultures, analytics included, do and will create their own architectures): aesthetics take on an after-life of their own, when beautiful artefacts produced under less-than-beautiful conditions are preserved and curated for a later, often selective, audience.
Will analytics become – or some become – thus separated from their production? How will people, undergoing perhaps radical restructuring of their jobs and lives, react? It might be some time before such things settle down and become national treasures, preserved for posterity, and even tourist attractions. There will be much action and reaction ahead of then.