For how many of you does this snippet make sense?
If you don’t recognize the lyrics, then perhaps this song will help you jog your memory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQZc53dpPrQThis is the opening to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which most of you must have seen on TV decades ago -- but written out as emoji.That should serve as proof that language, like everything that surrounds us, is a technology.And technologies always change over time.
My name is Michell, I’m a technology futurist, and I am fascinated about the future.I study emerging technologies from a combinatorial perspective, and try make predictions about what will be possible in the near future.
Solving problems that don’t (yet) exist.Fundamentally, my job is about solving problems that don’t yet exist.In order to frame the thinking about technological possibility, let’s start by looking at a technology we all know and love...
Seven years ago, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley kicked off a revolution that would change the face of video, television and cinema.YouTube wasnt the ﬁrst streaming video service, and arguably it wasnt the best.But in my opinion, they succeeded because their timing was perfect.They succeeded because a series of other technologies had reached maturity around that time.
GPSSee, if it wasn’t for the advent of cheap hard disks, ubiquitous video cameras and millions of internet users with access to fast broadband, YouTube would never have been possible. In a way,Hitatchi, Flip and AT&T were indirectly responsible for YouTube’s success -- yet completely outside of the founders’ control.
That and billions of hours of cat videos, evidently.
1 2 3 3 days of content uploaded every minute.Today, we’re looking at three days of content being uploaded to YouTube every minute.That’s 4000x real-time. Or four thousand seconds of video uploaded every second that I speak.
We usually think about technology in terms of its artifacts.The devices we wear, the services we use, the gadgets that litter our lives.
But technology, in fact, is everything that surrounds us.The wheel, agriculture, ﬁre, the book and money are examples of technologies we rarely see as such.
“ Anything useful that we make is technology. — Kevin Kelly Founding executive editor, WIRED MagazineSource:http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_tells_technology_s_epic_story.html
We can also think about technology like a layer cake.
802.11 NiMH Kernel A-GPS Touchscreens Gyroscop Video camera RAM Proximity sensor EDGE Triangulation Lightning USB TCP/IP Cloud GSM CDMA Video camera Li-Ion App store Social networking LTELED MMS IPS SIM NFC Gestures SMS TFT-LCD Bluetooth LCD HSDPAGlonass Internet Compass Multi-touch QWERTY GUI XMPP GPS Email LED Wi-FiMuch like a cake, technology fundamentally builds upon it self in order to advance and accelerate.The array of acronyms above are a few of the thousands of individual technologies that were necessary in order to develop a modern smartphone.
802.11 NiMH Kernel A-GPS Touchscreens Gyroscop Video camera RAM Proximity sensor EDGE Triangulation Lightning USB TCP/IP Cloud GSM CDMA Video camera Li-Ion App store Social networking LTELED MMS IPS SIM NFC Gestures SMS TFT-LCD Bluetooth LCD HSDPAGlonass Internet Compass Multi-touch QWERTY GUI XMPP GPS Email LED Wi-FiIf it wasn’t for these individual techs, some created by the U.S. Military and others by hackers in garages -- the smartphone as we know it would not have been possible.
And you can trace this narrative for any individual technology.Just look at the evolution of writing over millennia.
A NEW TOPOLOGYLike most other industries, I believe education acquiring a new topology.The concentration of knowledge is no longer in schools -- and the methods through which we acquire new information is no longer through books.
SCREEN LITERACYThe driving force and problem regarding the future of education is the changing nature of screens, and how we relate to them.I call this ‘screen literacy’ -- or the ability to learn how to interface with the information that surrounds us.
And today we have several reliable online-only MOOCs.
Khan Academy is undoubtedly the largest proponent of this trend. They have published countless videos to millions of users, and are single-handedly pushing education reform to an increasingaudience.
One to one One to many Many to manyI don’t think MOOCs are a genuine next big thing. They excel at widening the classroom from 30 students to 30 million.The next truly big shift will happen when education incorporates the many-to-many mentality.Let every student become a teacher.
Livemocha is doing this for languages.If you speak german and is looking to learn japanese, the system will pair you up with a japanese speaker who wants to learn german.
Programmers across the globe have learned to code from such platforms and forums. Professional coders who learned their trade in studying Computer Science are the exception, not the rule.
The fundamental reason behind this shift relates to the accelerating change of culture and information. It becomes harder and harder for a “teacher” to know more than “students”. Information iscreated at a rate that makes it impossible for everyone to keep up.For that reason alone, we need to acquire information from each other in a disruptive way.
Flipped classrooms are helping bring upon this change. Speciﬁcally from allowing a rapid change in education models without requiring massive infrastructure investments.
The digitization of all accessible information is a driving force behind many of the trends we’re seeing today.
But when coupled with adaptive knowledge graphs, such as Knewton, the transformation becomes remarkable.Knewton quantiﬁes the learning and information acquisition process, drawing an evolutionary branch between distinct areas of knowledge.The platform allows students to not only learn at their own pace, but also identiﬁes subjects where they’re facing difﬁculties and stealthily introduces pertinent exercices to help them along the way.
CONTINUOUSLY ADAPTIVE EDUCATION P2P teaching + Adaptive knowledge graphsThis scenario, where autonomous systems identify students’ needs and knowledge, but also couples them with potential teachers anywhere on the planet will bring upon massive change. The notionof school will fundamentally shift from a container of information towards that of a life guide.
INSTANT INFORMATIONThe second paradigm change I want to discuss is how we retrieve and relate to information.
Libraries have always had an important role for information acquisition, but we know that’s changing.
“ Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can ﬁnd information on it.I used to live near the British Library in London, and once came across this quote.Their claim is true.The question is: who will be the gatekeeper of information localization?
The number of Google searches per day keeps going up. We are more than accustomed to having access to information at our ﬁngertips.What comes “after” typing in queries into a computer?What happens when there’s only a “I’m Feeling Lucky” button? Or not even that?
Personal computing Ubiquitous computingWe’re surrounding ourselves with ever more gadgets. All interconnected and covered in sensors and screens.
Our devices see what we see.They know who we’re with.
So why have to look up the name of that bridge? Or who created that painting?Point your smartphone camera and have Google tell you. It’s called reverse image search, and it’s frankly uncanny.
Speak your queries. Or have the device listen in and answer your questions in real-time.
Or let the phone read and translate for you. Never get lost abroad.Five dollars in the App Store.
The next step? Cameras everywhere. Wear one around your neck.
Not to mention the inevitability of Google Glass and similar devices.Outsource memorization, wayfaring, translation, information lookups... Everything to your devices.
And learn to live with the consequences of having no signal on occasion.
SCREEN LITERACYSo what is the future of screen literacy?What is the role of school in this rapidly changing world?