Accepted 24th July, 2014
Teaching models are traditionally based on passive learning processes. This can be a risk, because people are living in the “information-everywhere society”, where they are bombed by information after a simple Googling-click and could be more influenced by media, whatever they are. In this changeable society, education cannot be merely technocratic, but it should encompass ethical goals, built upon individual and social needs, in order to shape the learning process on personalized frames. An investment just on technologies, like tablets or other electronic tools, doesn't seem adequate to develop 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, original evaluation, horizontal connections, longitudinal deepening, dividing views and news, communicating knowledge, principles and interpretations. Innovation in education occurs when a technological revolution endorses the increase of human capital. This should be considered as the main goal for educational institutions, whatever the technology and the historical moment. Technological progress raises the demand for skills, but poor human capital investments slake that demand. n the modern period economic growth requires educated workers, managers, entrepreneurs, and citizens, so that modern technology must not only be put in place, but maintained, innovated and invented. Certain types of human capitals are particularly useful when combined with the most advanced technologies to create productive uses of new technologies. The contribution of human capital to growth crucially depends on the set of tasks in use, if they reciprocally interact. In order to empower intangible human capital, learning doesn't derive only from a formal, traditional way of teaching, but also from the outside world, in informal and not formal way. This paper will enlarge the perspectives of education which are on the way to enter in the modern system. This analysis is applied to the “sovra-formal” way of teaching and learning. It is a modality permitted by a rich knowledge technology, but also by expertise and available tools in specialized labs where the greatest and impending phenomena are studied. With new tools and perspectives, scholars and pupils can find the sublimation of the didactic experience. This generates a new function for education: to build a personal awareness which can give sense to the experiences. In times of pressured public budgets, several countries face challenges to maintain or improve the quality of learning with few resources. For this reason, funds must be allocated to teacher training, in order to obtain the maximum through intangible assets, embedding older learning traditions in current highly-connected environments. Schools must accept the responsibility to grant inclusion and to promote a cognitive self-development or cognitive flexibility. This empowers intangible human capital.
Keywords: Innovation, technologies, higher education, human capital, values.