All of us are aiming at the same lofty goal, preparing children for some unforseen life in some unforseen future. Essentially schools not only play the countless roles they have for years, we are also trying to predict the future. I warn you now this is a longer post, but I believe its worth the time to say this correctly!
With the rate at which technology advances, just imagine the world 30 years from now. 30 years ago, home computers were a dream for most families. Now, for the first time ever, the majority of people in each age bracket have a smart phone. In 30 years we went from having almost no computers to having better technology than the astronauts who landed on the moon, sitting in our pockets.
So how do we stay ahead? We create interactive learners. Here are two things I can see revolutionizing education and the world in general.
1. 3D Printing- we are just starting to explore the power of creating objects out of thin air. Right now 3D printers in China are pumping out 10 houses a day! In some schools, students are starting to explore the possibilities of 3D printers.
Where could this go? Imagine a world where we all have the ability to 3D print any object we need by purchasing raw materials and design pattens.
Where you can print food from protein strands. Where famine, homelessness, and lack of adequate clothing is not an issue. Sure we will have others, but 3D printers have the potential to create a new world. Like computers put into the hands of kids 30 years ago in schools, the evolution of 3D printers could change the world!
2. Google Glass- most people do not trust glass yet. 30 years ago, most people didn’t dare store their most valuable information inside a microchip, now with 3$ worth of plastic people can carry all their information on a key ring!
Glass has so many potential applications, but I will focus on education as everything else will stem from that.
Imagine a classroom where children can read some text, take and record notes at visual and oral command, ask questions and explore answers, check teacher commentary on the topic, and the share their ideas beyond the classroom with others. Imagine a student manipulating design and mathematics problems through interacting digitally with a real life problem.
Glass isn’t quite there yet. It will require some research and trials, but the potential is there. 30 years from now, Glass, or something like it,will be as common as a smart phone. People will be connected around the planet in ways like never before.
Why do schools need to find this edge and live there? If we don’t where will our children learn about it. We already missed the mark once. Social media got to kids before we got to it. Now we deal with it, trying desperately to figure out how to manage and leverage it so our schools can find value in it. While we slept on Social media, kids were using it, now we are trying to catch up! Get out there on the edge, live there, take that chance, or continue the new pattern of reactionary leadership!