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Applying Cognitive Digital Twins to Professional Education – II

Numbero of MOOCs as of end of 2018. Image credit: Class Central

So, it is factual that knowledge is expanding faster than ever. Part of this knowledge is not immediately applicable to business, it is theoretical and is most of interest to researchers. However, a portion of this knowledge growth is deriving from experiences scattered around the world, other knowledge has found application in an area and might just be what is needed in a different area, other knowledge just need a little push to become usable and benefit business.

Even if we restrict to these types of knowledge (that have in common a proximity to maturity in a given field) the amount is very large, possibly exceeding the capability of a single person to acquire and digest.

However, before even attempting the acquisition of knowledge one has to be aware of its existence, of where it is accessible and dedicate time and effort to digest it.

This is the challenge for both professionals and companies.
Notice that the problem, in most cases, is not the lack of education material, quite the contrary. Also in the area of education material we are facing an explosion:

There are, as of the end of 2018, some 900 universities around the world that have developed on-line courses (MOOCs) easily accessible from any place. The total number of MOOCs published in  2018 was 9,400, the previous year, 2017, the production totalled 6,850 MOOCs. The number of active MOOCs in 2018 reached 11,400. This is not just an indication of the increase in on-line education material, it is also an indication of the short life spans of MOOCs.

Also the number of people accessing these MOOCs keeps rising, Coursera had 30 million attendees, edX 14 million, XuetangX 9.3 million, Udacity 8 million and FutureLearn 7.1 million. About 101 million people attended a MOOC in 2018, up form 84 million in 2017.
These, although huge, represent the tips of the iceberg. Professional education fostered by companies and public administrations all around the world through specific initiative leads to a staggering investment in education.

Unfortunately, a common denominator is a general dissatisfaction, both from professionals and from companies, in terms of effectiveness and return over investment (in time and money).

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.