The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

E-Learning Hubs and Edu-Business: How Private Companies Can Serve Common Good. The Case of Samsung School

Silvia Dell\\\'Acqua, Vesalius College Director of International Programmes Projects and Outreach (Belgium)


You are never old, too young or too busy to learn”. This means that you can be a lifelong learner, truly enjoying your learning experience. This has been quite an interesting change of perspective in learning, that is worth investigating: both in environments primarily thought for education and during ad hoc experiences Edu-tainment is the leading star to perform at best and enjoy the deepening of your knowledge and skills. The theoretical aspect of Education and Learning is no more detached from the concept of “being able to apply notions”. Education is and remains a common good by all means, however it is no more an abstract and a stand-alone concept, rather it is considered more valuable if it serves a precise purpose in our society. Skills-based knowledge is what makes the difference today. It is no more the notion that is at the centre of the learning process, rather its links with the real world and the degree of impact that what you have learnt and experienced can make in the society, is what counts. Outlining this scenario is fundamental to pave the way to the analysis of the Copernican (R)evolution we are witnessing in the (educational) world: social benefit and private investments are now part of the same life-cycle. In my paper I will focus on the principles, reasons and consequences that are implied in this new phenomenon, which has already affected other domains (i.e. Eco-business). In my opinion, the “mix” between public and private investments will be increasingly relevant in the future of education, for two basic reasons: resources availability is more and more scarce; competitiveness is becoming stronger. It is extremely important to underline that in investigating this (R)evolution we need to be rigorous and distinguish among experiences, singling out the virtuous patterns that can be transferable and applicable to different contexts, ensuring that common standards are respected and that the nature of learning is not distorted. The participation of private actors in the (e)Learning process should not be considered as a way of relinquishing the inner nature of Education and Learning, rather, if well conceived and managed, the final result proves to be completely the opposite. What should be always granted is the fairness of the processes, namely solid and sound policies have to be in place in order to provide the precise framework, in which a private actor can then intervene, complementing and integrating what the public authority has to assure to its citizens. In the paper the investigation of such a phenomenon will be complemented by the focus on a case study, with the purpose to shed light on the practical implications that this new educational scenario can lead to. Namely “Samsung School and Labs” will be under scrutiny. The purpose of innovation, in each domain, is to open up new scenarios: in Education and Learning fields it is particularly true that creativity is inspiring and, if well managed, can be revolutionary.



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