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Digitalization of Education – The How and Why of Lifelong Learning

Research Results Concerning Online-Further Education in Tourism. Significance – Expectation – Utilisation

Lars Rettig

More and more parts of our lives are being digitally enriched. The field of education is no exception. The learning and working worlds are changing, and therefore also the requirements for education, continuing education and further education. At the same time, the period in which knowledge is up-to-date is ever shorter. Thus the ability to do Lifelong Learning is not only decisive for the success of the individual, but also for the sustainable existence of companies, economic sectors and whole regions/destinations. On the basis of psychological, pedagogical and economical concepts the author deals with the How and Why of learning. Based on this he investigates the significance of Online-Further Education in Tourism by means of qualitative expert interviews.

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3 Necessity of Lifelong Learning – Megatrends and Half-Life

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In this chapter, social developments are considered and reflected upon against the background of personal needs. This highlights the requirements for a learning society and the necessity of Lifelong Learning. The concept of the half-life of knowledge is then introduced and explained. It is shown why a sinking half-life is generally attributed to knowledge and why Lifelong Learning is gaining relevance.

3.1 Global Megatrends and Change of Structures

The necessity of Lifelong Learning becomes clear when one considers the changes in the working world. In their publication The Future of the Working World. On the Way to 2030, Walter and colleagues describe three megatrends which characterize the current changes.1

Firstly, the authors mention techno-economic developments, such as increasing globalization, the integration of information and communication technology into production processes, and the development of knowledge and innovation societies, which have a direct influence on the way in which learning environments are designed. Other factors mentioned by the authors, such as the energy supply and the scarcity of raw materials, as well as the associated consequences in the choice of location of the companies, only have an indirect influence since they are more concerned with spatial questions, e.g. where crystallization points of knowledge and innovation will be.

Secondly, demographic trends such as the aging of society and the workforce, the shrinking of the population in the industrialized countries and the concomitant shortage of young people, as well as a prolongation of the...

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