I had the opportunity, in my professional development sessions today to hear Ian Jukes speak. It was a presentation that both caused me to really ponder technology and the four ‘exponential’ trends…and caused me a degree of uncertainty about school systems and their ability to provide for technological advancements, about children and how they cope with traditional models for the present…and frankly, about myself and the other adults who are ‘aging-out’ in a world of expanding bandwidths and the likes of the Nokia n-Gage.
1. Moore’s Law based on Gordon Moore (Intel 1963)
2. Photonics (The Law of the Photon)
3. The exponential trend of the Internet and
4. The INFOWHELM!
Books for me to find and read:
1. Information Anxiety by Richard Saul Wurman
2. Tele-cosm by George Gilder
3. Teaching for Tomorrow by Ted McCain
4. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gadwell
I think that because I’ve been thinking about the concept of TIME lately, it was TIMELY! As soon as it is available on his site, I will make available here, his 150 page handout on the session given today…but for now, a quote…
“Don’t view things just for how they are today….everything is a part of a continuum…the future.” (This…in direct contrast to my tendency to grasp the magic out of each moment…each day…with a ‘softened’ focus on the past or on the future.)
There was an incredible predictability and security in our childhood. Those were the days when we sat down and ate meals together, homecooked meals! ‘Dads’ got home at 5:45. We watched Bonanza and Hockey Night in Canada. Today, it is a fact that we are living in a world riddled with exponential technology and growth…and as that technology becomes more complex, we become more and more disconnected…from one another.
So many issues relative to this…but in the end, a huge implication for education is the undeniable fact that children’s brains are re-wiring after an entire generation has been ‘plugged in’ and the Human Brain Project has indicated that for fact, the Visual Cortex is 20% larger in children today than those of the past. Most children are either visual or visual-kinesthetic learners and if this is not addressed in their classroom environment, then in truth, they will become disinterested. It is a NEW WORLD! There are many accomodations that need to be explored as a result!
Tonight, I am left feeling like a mother of two SCREENAGERS…and instead of being a Digital Native…I am a Digital Immigrant!
Certainly, change happens. We are at the mercy of the world, which pushes changes our way. Again, embracing the movements we can not control is always better than trying to pull a "David and Goliath". It is romantic to think that we could topple such a large movement, but we can easily lose ourselves in the process.
Certainly, we feel uncomfortable with some of the changes we experience. The ones mentioned above are far from being the only ones. May I offer some reading:
– A short history of nearly everything, by Bill Bryson ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0767908171/102-3968130-7029755?v=glance&n=283155)
– A short history of progress, by Ronald Wright (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786715472/102-3968130-7029755?v=glance&n=283155)
Humans have had an impact on Mother Earth which is quite unsettling. The question is, and remains, how we deal with it on a personal level. How can we adjust the trajectory of our paths so that we feel like a productive force in the world, and not merely a passenger aboard a car that has lost control.
I am not advocating to embracing all technologies. Our responsibilities, as parents, include to expose our children with a broader experience since this is the reality that they are facing. To grow and evolve in their society, they will compete with other humans who are also armed with a base of knowledge much larger than what we have at our disposal. In some circumstances, we might have to rely on technology to be able to achieve our humble responsibilities. Let\’s face it, the children mostly educate themselves; we are simply there as a guiding force.
I am amazed at how much the world has changed since the days I was waiting for my dad to deal with a bank teller. I am sure that by the time my life comes to its fruitful end, I will not be able to recognize the world we are currently living in. Hopefully, I will have kept a shred of sanity along the way.