I’m writing this post from the airplane on the way back from the Administrators Technology Academy in Jackson, TN. (Though I’m posting it from the comfort of my recliner at home.) It’s an annual event that draws school administrators from around western Tennessee for a day of learning about educational technology. I was lucky enough to do the opening keynote this morning and got the day started by looking ahead to the year 2016 and the technology that we will be using by then. My talk had several themes:
- Technology is advancing at an exponential rate, and most people don’t understand exponential growth. The implication is that we ain’t seen nothing yet with respect to technological change. If Moore’s Law holds, computer chips ten years from now will be 32x more powerful than the ones we have today.
- Old teaching methods don’t work with today’s kids. I raised a few eyebrows when I suggested that the act of a teacher consciously deciding not to use advanced technology with his or her students might be considered educational malpractice.
- The value of factual knowledge is plummeting. I showed how quickly basic facts can be accessed with Google and looked ahead to a day within ten years when all students will carry an Internet-connected computing device with them 24×7.
- We are in a relevance race. If we fail to utilize new technologies, we risk alienating our students. It won’t be many years before students can homeschool themselves and earn a high school diploma without setting foot inside a traditional school. If schools as we know them are to survive and prosper, we’re going to have to adjust to a world where we’re not the only game in town.
Of course, it was much more exciting than that in person! I tried to come up with some choice quotes to leave with the group. Here are two that seemed to go over well:
If your work can be automated, it will be.
And the question of the day:
What are you doing right now to prepare your students to collaborate seamlessly across cultures in jobs that probably don’t yet exist?