Physics: spotlighting exceptional research is a American Physical Society feature with small capsules of cutting edge research. An example capsule this month is Lending an iron hand to spintronics, about (are you ready?): Enhanced Spin Hall Effect by Resonant Skew Scattering in the Orbital-Dependent Kondo Effect. That is a very small subject which approaches this challenge: “A dream of spintronics is to find a way to easily convert between spin and charge currents, a task many believe will involve tapping into (so far) unutilized quantum properties of matter.”
To foresee how learning is about to flip end-for-end, contrast the tiny spintronics charge switching subject with the college physics textbook you used. The textbook began with big subjects in chapters that in turn divided downward into smaller and smaller topics. If a small new topic came along, about the best you could do to add it into the textbook would be to slip a clipping between pages of a relevant chapter.
How different learning is becoming! If you are collecting material online about quantum properties, electron charges, and many other subjects, the little tiny spintronics spotlight page would be relevant in the mix of materials you are collecting. Today you might find the little spotlight on Google, but you could easily miss the chance to use it. Something profoundly more powerful lies around the corner.
When search engine optimization, linking by subject experts, tagging, and the rest of the network tools of emergence have taken hold of educational online resources, knowledge will organize itself. While you are researching quantum properties, the latest spintronics spotlight will make itself known. The optimization of the spotlight will make this emergence happen for you just when its ideas are relevant to what you are learning.
I am simplifying here a bit to make the point that knowledge abounds in the network matrix. It is the little bits that will dynamically replace the printed hierarchies of the textbook past.