May the Fourth Be with you: Creating Education 4.0


  • Gilly Salmon



Education 1.0., Education 2.0., Education 3.0., Education 4.0., Fourth Industrial Revolution, Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, skills of the future, hindsight, insight, foresight, higher education transformation


The paper looks back across dominant ways of delivering Higher Education until the present day and then looks forward. There is an approximate continuum described from Education 1.0 through 2.0 to 3.0.  Education is mapped onto the emergence and development of the Web and the revolutions known as ‘Industrial’ over the last 250 years. Then some foresight is deployed with the particular lens of graduates’ employment prospects and contributions to the future – dubbed ‘Education 4.0’. The paper hopes to stimulate dialogue and promote preparedness and innovation for more changes arriving fast over Higher Education’s wider horizons.


Admiraal, W., Post, L., Guo, P., Saab, N., Makinen, S., Rainio, O., Vuori, J., Bourgeois, J., Kortuem, G., & Danford, G. (2019). Students as future workers: Cross-border multidisciplinary learning labs in higher education. International Journal of Technology in Education and Science, 3(2), 85-94. Retrieved from

Alexander, B., Ashford-Rowe, K., Barajas-Murph, N., Dobbin, G., Knott, J., McCormack, M., Pomerantz, J., Seilhamer, R., & Weber, N. (2019). Horizon report 2019 higher education edition. EDU19. Retrieved from

Altbach, P. G., Reisberg, L., & Rumbley, L. E. (2009). Trends in global higher education: Tracking an academic revolution in education. UNESCO Report, from the World Conference on Higher Education. Retrieved from,_Reisberg,_Rumbley_Tracking_an_Academic_Revolution,_UNESCO_2009.pdf

Ameen, N. (2019). What robots and AI may mean for university lecturers and students? Retrieved from

Bakhshi, H., Downing, J., Osborne, M., & Schneider, P. (2017). The future of skills: employment in 2030. London: Pearson & Nesta. Retrieved from

Barrow, J., Forker, C., Sands, A., O'Hare, D., & Hurst, W. (2019). Augmented reality for enhancing life science education. Paper presented at VISUAL 2019—The Fourth International Conference on Applications and Systems of Visual Paradigms, Rome, Italy.

Bates, G., Rixon, A., Carbone, A., & Pilgrim, C. (2019).Beyond employability skills: Developing professional purpose. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 10(1). Retrieved from

Berners-Lee, T., Hendler, J., & Lassila, O. (2001). The semantic web. Scientific American, 284(5), 34-43.

Boulton, G. (2017). The digital revolution and the future of science. Retrieved from

Cheng, L., Ritzhaupt, A.D., & Antonenko, P. (2018.) Effects of the flipped classroom instructional strategy on students’ learning outcomes: A meta-analysis. Education Technology Research and Development, 67(4). Retrieved from

Ciechanowski, L., Przegalinska, A., Magnuski, M., & Gloor, P. (2019). In the shades of the uncanny valley: An experimental study of human–chatbot interaction. Future Generation Computer Systems, 92, 539-548. Retrieved from

Connor, A. Karmokar, S. & Whittington, C. (2015). From STEM to STEAM: Strategies for enhancing engineering & technology education. International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy, 5(2), 37-47. Retrieved from

Daniel, J. S. (2018). Open Universities: Old concepts and contemporary challenges. IRRODL Special Issue on the Future of Open Universities. Retrieved from

Davies, S. (2019). Moving towards Education 4.0. Blog. Retrieved from

Dobozy, E., & Cameron, L. (2018). Editorial: Special issue on learning design research: Mapping the terrain. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 34(2), i-v Retrieved from

Drucker, P., (1969). The Age of Discontinuity: Guidelines to our changing society. New York: Harper and Row.

Ehlers, U.D., & Kellermann, S. A. (2019). Future skills—The future of learning and higher education. Results of the International Future Skills Delphi Survey. Karlsruhe. Retrieved from

Epstein, D. (2019). The peculiar blindness of experts. The Atlantic. Retrieved from

Feldman, P. (2018). The potential of 4.0 is huge—UK must take the lead. Blog. Retrieved from

Fisk, P. (2017). Education 4.0 … the future of learning will be dramatically different, in school and throughout life. Retrieved from (Also see Video ‘The Future of Learning’ on this site.)

Francis, M. (2013). Harold Wilson's 'white heat of technology' speech 50 years on. Retrieved from

Gallagher, M. (2019). Learning for the future of work. Retrieved from (See Website and video.)

Golembiewski, L. (2019, April 30). How wearable AI will amplify human intelligence. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Gunn, J. (2017). Why the A in STEAM education is just as important as every other letter. Retrieved from

Hao, K. (2019). Artificial Intelligence. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved from

Heaven, D. (Ed). (2017). Machines that think. Boston: Nicholas Barley Publishing.

Hussin, A. (2018). Education 4.0 Made simple: Ideas for teaching. International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies, 6(3), 92-98. Retrieved from

IEEE Conference (2019). Transactions on visualization and computer graphics. IEEE 2019 conference on visualization. Retrieved from

IFTF (2019a). Embodied learning. Blog. Retrieved from

IFTF (2019b). Signaling work and learning readiness in 2030: The future of assessment. Blog. Retrieved from

JISC (2018). Digital skills crucial to the success of fourth industrial revolution. Retrieved from

JISC (2019a). JISC NUS roadmap for supporting students to improve their digital experience at university and college. Retrieved from

JISC (2019b). MPs urge ethical use of data to benefit society. Retrieved from

JISC (2019c). Preparing for Education 4.0. Retrieved from

Johansson, F. (2017). The Medici Effect. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.

John, J. (2019). How to create: A broader, fairer and smarter education system. Retrieved from

Jongbloed, B. (2015). Universities as hybrid organizations: Trends, drivers, and challenges for the European university. International Studies of Management & Organization, 45(3), 207–225.

Kernohan, D. (2019). What happened at the secret life of students? Blog. Retrieved from

Khe Foon, H.E.W., & Chung Kwan, L.O. (2018). Flipped classroom improves student learning in health professions education: A meta-analysis. BMC Medical Education, 18, Retrieved from

Lewrick, M., Link, P., & Leifer, L. (2018). The design thinking play book: Mindful digital transformation of team, products, services and ecosystems. Hoboken: Wiley.

Letellier, R. (2018). Making STEM education relevant in the fourth industrial revolution. Retrieved from

Land, R., Meyer, J.H.F., & Flanagan, M.T. (2016). Threshold concepts in practice.In Education futures rethinking theory and practice, 68. Rotterdam/Boston/Taipei: Sense Publishers.

Luckin, R. (2019). AI and education: The reality and the potential. The Knowledge Illusion. Retrieved from

McEwan, I. (2019). Machines like me. London: Jonathan Cape.

McGregor, A., & Hamilton, M. (2019). Shaping education for a hyper connected world. Digifest Magazine.

McVitty, D. (2019). The more universities are thinking about value for money, the better the sector looks. WONKHE blog. Retrieved from

Mendoza, J.N., Gallego-Schmid, A., & Azapagic, A. (2019). Building a business case for implementation of a circular economy in higher education institutions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 220, 553-567.

Milligan, A. (2019). Speed awareness. Business Life Magazine. December 2018/January 2019.

MIT (2019). Digital challenges: Overcoming barriers to AI adoption. Retrieved from

Naisbitt, J. (1982). Megatrends: Ten new directions transforming our lives. (6th ed.). Warner Books, London: Warner Books .

Navitas Ventures (2017). Digital transformation in higher education, report. Retrieved from

OECD (2018). A brave new world: Technology & education. Trends Shaping Education. Retrieved from

Office for National Statistics (2016). What is my life expectancy? Retrieved from

PWC (2019a). Transforming Australian manufacturing: Preparing businesses and workplaces for Industry 4.0. Retrieved from

PWC (2019b). Workforce of the future: The competing forces shaping 2030. Retrieved from

Ramge, T., & Schwochow, J. (2018). The global economy as you’ve never seen it: 99 ingenious infographics that put it all together. New York: The Experiment.

Roser, M. (2019). Hindsight, world comparisons and interactive maps about life expectancy. Retrieved from

Salmon, G. (2009). The future for (second) life and learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 526-538.

Salmon, G. (2013). E-tivities: The key to active online learning (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge.

Salmon, G. (2019). From partnership to fusion: Future educational landscapes. Blog. Retrieved from

Salmon, G., & Asgari, S. (2019). Higher education—The last bastion? European Journal of Open, Distance and E- learning. Retrieved from

Samans, R. (2019). Globalization 4.0 shaping a new global architecture in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution: A call for engagement. World Economic Forum Report. Retrieved from

Scharmer, C.O. (2018). The essentials of Theory U. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Schwab, K. (2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What it means, how to respond. Retrieved from

Schwab, K. (2018). Grappling with Globalization 4.0. Retrieved from

Taylor, G. (2017). Scientist thinks the world’s first 200-year-old person has already been born. Retrieved from

Tegmark, M. (2018). Life 3.0: Being human in the age of Artificial Intelligence. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Thelen, K. (2019). Transitions to the knowledge economy in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. Comparative Politics, 51(2), 295-315.

Thompson, H. (2019). Trends. Business Life. December 2018/January 2019. Retrieved from

Traxler, J., (2016). What killed the mobile learning dream? JISC Inform. Retrieved from

Vlachopoulos, P. (2018). Curriculum digital transformation through learning design: The design, develop, implement methodology. In K. Ntalianis, A. Andreatos, & C. Sgouropoulou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 17th European Conference on e-Learning (pp. 585-591). Reading, UK: Academic Conferences and Publishing International.

Williams, J. (2017). Workforce of the future: The views of 10,000 workers. Retrieved from

Xing, B. (2019). Towards a Magic Cube Framework in understanding Higher Education 4.0 for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In D.B.A. Khosrow-Pou, (Ed.), Handbook of research on challenges and opportunities in launching a technology driven international university (pp. 107-130). Hershey: IGI Global.



How to Cite

Salmon, G. (2019). May the Fourth Be with you: Creating Education 4.0. Journal of Learning for Development, 6(2).



Special Feature
Received 2019-06-13
Accepted 2019-06-13
Published 2019-07-18