Learning can no longer be dichotomized into a place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and
a place and time to apply knowledge (the workplace). Today’s citizens are flooded with more
information than they can handle, and tomorrow’s workers will need to know far more than any
individual can retain.
Lifelong learning is an essential challenge for inventing the future of our societies; it is a
necessity rather than a possibility or a luxury to be considered. Lifelong learning is more than
adult education and/or training — it is a mindset and a habit for people to acquire. Lifelong
learning creates the challenge to understand, explore, and support new essential dimensions of
learning such as: (1) self-directed learning, (2) learning on demand, (3) collaborative learning,
and (4) organizational learning. These approaches need new media and innovative
technologies to be adequately supported.
A theory of lifelong learning must investigate new frameworks to learning required by the
profound and accelerating changes in the nature of work and education. These changes include
(1) an increasing prevalence of “high-technology” jobs requiring support for learning on demand
because coverage of all concepts is impossible; (2) the inevitability of change in the course of a
professional lifetime, which necessitates lifelong learning; and (3) the deepening (and
disquieting) division between the opportunities offered to the educated and to the uneducated.