Designing education for the next generation

At the Geospatial World Forum 2011 on Integrated Design Education, chaired by Prof. Josef Strobl, Director, Centre for Geoinformatics, University of Salzburg, Austria, addressed various facets of design education. The forum witnessed participation from industry and academia alike.

In his keynote address, Tom Joseph, Director – Education APAC, Autodesk, focused on empowering the next generation while outlining trends affecting design. He focused on three trends: digital life, globalization, and climate change.

According to Tom, digital life is one of the first factors affecting educational design. Children today learn in a different way from the earlier generations. With the range of exposure to digital devices, children have a different perspective to their experience with technology. He opined that educators need to be in sync with these changes. For the other trend of globalization, educators, according to Tom, need to build children as global citizens. Huge infrastructure is required to meet the global growth. This calls for radical approach to education. Lastly, according to Tom, climate change is a trend that needs to be considered in designing education. He observed there is a need for educators to start building a culture of sustainability among children / students so that they can build sustainable design. The areas identified by Tom as important for design are architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing. To empower next generation, the critical elements are making technology economical if not free and deriving institutional, faculty, and student excellence.

Mark Reichardt, President & CEO, Open Geospatial Consortium, discussed the relevance of standards in relation to design education. Mark presented the findings of an informal survey conducted by him where the key outcome showed that university programs are having trouble serving market needs and that skill standards are under-emphasized in education. Among the ways identified by him is to bring geographic scientists and designers together in hands-on activities to promote fusion of GIS and design. Both groups can look at IT through different paradigms.

Geospatial World

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern


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