Skip to main content

Mind the gap

Educational institutions  are facing many challenges ahead. To be in the forefront, which is one of the mainroles for unviversities, both when it comes to teaching, learning, and research, but also to be a voice in the global soceiety, universitites more than ever have to be on the cutting edge, and to take the lead for the UNESCO SDG4. The leading actions are on ACCESS, EQUITY, EQUALITY, DEMOCRACY, INCLUSIVENESS, QUALITY, AND LIFELONG AND LIFEWIDE LEARNIG, 

In additon, we are facing and have to adapt, but also to lead the 4th Indsutrial Revolution, and the digital disruption.

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.

There are three reasons why today’s transformations represent not merely a prolongation of the Third Industrial Revolution but rather the arrival of a Fourth and distinct one: velocity, scope, and systems impact. The speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent. When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.


In two of  the latest articles in The Higher Education World Ranking the role of the Universities has been questioned, as Universities have to be more in line with citizens needs and demands in a connected global world. It was stressed that besides the missions relating to teaching and research, institutions have to  accept...

...the role as critic and conscience of society

In the other one it was argued that Universities´ new mission is to RECONNECT

With expertise being vilified, institutions must re-establish their relevance to ‘real people’. Fortunately, they are ideally placed to do so

The role of digital disruptions, digital promises, and digital culture have in addition to be elaborated, and to taking actions both on Nano, Micro, Meso, and Macro levels. The dgital disruption is already sprad out in many sectors, as with music, Spotify; in film Netflix; in books, Amazon; hotelbooking,, Places and restaurants, Tripasvisor; and maybe teh latest ones with Taxis, UBER, However, the educational sector is far to slow, at least when it comes to teaching and learning, as well as teh third ission When it comes to research in the areas it is something different. Howerver again education is not very keen to take up trends and resaerch in the areas of digital disruptions, digital promises, and digital culture.

Diigtal learning is more about chanaging mindset, the growing mindset, attitudes, values and culture more than on special skills, and competences. Sir John Daniel , Kanwaar and Uvalic_Trumbic argumets about Breaking Higher Educations Iron Triangle: Access, Cost and Quality are still valued

The aims of wide access, high quality, and low cost are not achievable, even in principle, with traditional models of higher education based on classroom teaching in campus communities. A perception of quality based on exclusivity of access and high expenditure per student is the precise opposite of what is required. One based instead on student achievement enables developing countries to scale up their higher education APRs without breaking the bank or fatally compromising quality.

But perceptions of quality are changing, and the growing emphasis on outcomes and standards heralds the possibility of a model of higher education that could achieve the ministerial aims—one that centers on examinations and allows students to choose different ways of preparing for them. Although this type of system has a long history, contemporary technologies such as eLearning and open educational resources promise to make it even more cost-effective today.

On digital literacy, and the digital gap

The teaching professions face rapidly changing demands, which require a new, broader and more sophisticated set of competences than before. The ubiquity of digital devices and applications, in particular, requires educators to develop their digital competence. In December 2017 the EC Joint Research Centre launched the Digital Competence of Educators, DigCompEdu. The DigCompEdu study builds on previous work carried out to define citizens' Digital Competence in general, and Digitally Competent Education Oragnisations (DigCompOrg). It contributes to the Commission's recently endorsed Skills Agenda for Europe and to the Europe 2020 flagship initiative Agenda for New Skills for New Jobs. In a previous Blogpost, 8 December 2017, I wrote about it as well.

The European Framework for the Digital Competence of Educators (DigCompEdu) is a scientifically sound framework describing what it means for educators to be digitally competent. It provides a general reference frame to support the development of educator-specific digital competences in Europe. DigCompEdu is directed towards educators at all levels of education, from early childhood to higher and adult education, including general and vocational education and training, special needs education, and non-formal learning contexts.

DigCompEdu Areas

DigCompEdu details 22 competences organised in six Areas. The focus is not on technical skills. Rather, the framework aims to detail how digital technologies can be used to enhance and innovate education and training.

In conclusion the role of digital disruptions, digital promises, and digital culture have to be elaborated, and to taking actions both on Nano, Micro, Meso, and Macro levels. Arguing this, it is obvious that leadership, and Senior Manamgemnt at all levels are crucial, as with this digital disruption there are questions on allocation of fundings and resources, staff and students development, incentives, recognition, and environmental issues, as well as ethics, moral and law issues.


Ossianilsson, E. (2018). On innovative learning spaces. Distance Education in China.(writing in progress).
Ossiannilsson, E., & Abeywardena, I.S. (2018). OER: Open to Ideas, Open to the World. SpringerBriefs in Open and Distance Education. NewYork: Springer. (writing in progress).
Ossiannilsson, E. (2018). Ed. (2018). Ubiquitous inclusive learning in a digital era. Hershey: IGI Global. (writing in progress).
Ossiannilsson, E. (2018). Visionary leadership for digitaltransformation: In a tme when learners take ownership of their Learning. Distance Education in China.
Ossiannilsson, E. (2018). The ecosystem of open pedagogy. In: Conrad, D., & Prinsloo, P. (Eds.,). Ecologies of open: Inclusion, intersections, and interstice. Athabasca: Athabasca Publication.
Ossiannilsson, E. (2018). Leadership: In a time when learners take ownership of their own learning. In: Buyuk, K. Kocdar, S. andBozkurt, A (Eds.). Administrative Leadership in Open and Distance Learning Programs. Hershey: IGI Global.
Ossiannilsson, E. (2017). Blended learning: State of the nation. Oslo: ICDE. 
Ossiannilsson, E. (2017). Leadership in global open, online, and distance learning. In: Keengwe, J. (Ed.). 

Handbook of Research on Transformative Digital Content and Learning Technologies. Hershey: IGI Global.




Share this

Blog archive