Imagine where the future of technology will lead us. For most, over the age of 35, the internet has been around for a while, but it is relatively new. For those born within the last 20 years, a “connected world” is all they have ever known. There is no doubt that technology is pushing forward at a seemingly faster and faster rate. Sometimes, however, it is good to stop and see what has taken place in the past. This might help us look at what seems to be a break-neck pace from a different perspective.
We live in a society that wants more. We want faster internet, quicker computer processors, smaller laptops, and bigger phones. Technology progress so quickly that by the time you get home with the newest computer, someone else, or maybe even the same company, has come out with a new model that will do more. This can be quite frustrating.
When it comes to education, I also want more. I want less sites blocked, more access to apps, and a computer for ever students who walks through the doors of a school. The time for this is coming, but it hasn’t happened yet. I seem to spend a great deal of time worrying about this. I wonder if it is necessarily worth it?
The truth is that, though computers are fairly new, they have been around for several decades. Sure, they have definitely advanced in what they can do, but the idea using a computer to learn is as old as the idea of a computer itself.
Maybe we just need to be patient. This is a hard thing to do in a world that is cruising on hyper-drive, but rushing into something has rarely done anyone any good. This does not meant that we should become complacent, only that we need to sit back and evaluate exactly what goals we have set and how we can achieve them with what we have. This might be much more productive than worrying about why a particular site is blocked by the tech guys. I am the first one to admit guilt here.
I love to look at new apps. Playing with a new computer or other device gives me a buzz that probably borders on what a drug addict feels. The problem is that all the playing around is not a whole lot of good unless there is some purpose.
Is this going to stop me from playing with new toys and endlessly searching for new apps to use with students? No, probably not, but I hope to at least slow down enough to see some rhyme and reason in what I am doing.
The impetus for this post was the following video made in 1967. It shows one of the first uses of something like the internet and talks of how something like this might be used in the future. Certainly, the technology has advanced from what is seen here, but only in some areas. While the computer is used by many students, it is not how all students are educated today, and not every student (or family) has one in their home.
The video claims that this was something that should be in every home within 20 years. They missed their prediction by a good 20 years, and we are still counting. Granted, the day is coming, and it may be soon. We just have to be patient and use what we do have to its fullest potential.