Hierarchy of Needs: Education


In a previous blog series I referenced Hungarian architect and mathematician Erno Rubik whom wanted to create a structure from which its pieces could move independently without making the structure fall apart. Not long after, his Rubik’s Cube was launched.

I often reference a platform. Such platform is of course technical, but we can also look at it as a principle or framework – like a cube, with building blocks and individual pieces that holds it all together via this wireframe.

Each piece of the cube has its unique identity and characteristics. In the cube-analogy we can consider a cube as being a platform. And this platform holds pieces which can all move independently without breaking the overall structure.

Below are the articles in that series:

  1. The concept of the universal framework for smart city construction 
  2. Implications for city managers, the role of eGovernance and how it evolves
  3. The intelligent city ecosystem and industry convergence
  4. Why enterprises cannot compete on their own
  5. How intelligent cities will evolve into a connected cities ecosystem
  6. The hierarchy of needs for connected cities

Visualizing the Hierarchy of Needs within the Framework of Connected Cities

Just like a cube and its wireframe can be visualized to help understand how each piece is positioned, and can move independently without making it fall apart, so can a Hierarchy of Needs be applied and visualized; the pyramid-shape is very often used for it. Multiple pyramid-shapes exist within a cube.

In fact, each side of a cube can be considered the base of such pyramid-shape. If we unfold the cube, these pyramid shapes become visible. And as such, they conceptualize and visualize the Hierarchy of Needs, as it applies to each individual piece of the cube.

Image credit: Edwin Diender

The Hierarchy of Needs for Industries

The most commonly known hierarchy of needs outlines a range of needs, including physical, safety, esteem, and self-actualization. To me, industries’ digital needs are quite similar. I would divide this hierarchy of needs into four basic layers, each building up the pyramid-shape.

From the ground-up:

  • The first layer is ICT infrastructure – the foundation of a digital industry.
  • The second layer is security – safety is the cornerstone of a connected industry foundation
  • The third layer is digitalization
  • The highest layer is creating a digital brain and nervous system

In this new series of publications I will look at the hierarchy of needs for industries. And I’d like to start with Smart Education.

The Hierarchy of Needs for Education

Modern education becomes more personalized and adopts to hybrid models. Teaching and learning, administration, and scientific research are going digital, cloud-based, and become more intelligent with the use of innovative ICT.

Layer 1: Infrastructure

Technologies such as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 bring more mobility and make it easier to access a broad range of (digital) content and resources. With AR and VR, an immersive learning and teaching experience is optimized, and “online + offline” learning and teaching models deliver much more flexibility.



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