I have been watching the Twitter feed coming from #ISTE11. It’s really amazing the quantity of tweets. At one point my feed was throttled because it was overloading. Nice job everyone!
The focus of that conference is about the future of education. Do we really know what the future of education is? It’s difficult to predict the future that is for sure. I think the reason for this is we tend to take what we currently see and just modernize it. A famous example of this are flying cars. It makes sense right?
There have been all sorts of wrong technology predictions. Here is a list I found.
- “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943.
- “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.
- “Radio has no future. Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible. X-rays will prove to be a hoax.” — William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, British scientist, 1899.
What this shows us is the future is predicted based on what we know, but is largely shaped by what is just around the corner.
My favorite example of this comes from a really cool site called Paleofuture. It’s all about predictions of the future from the past. I have spent hours reading about flying cars, machines that automatically do all sorts of things for us and this: the Jetpack Mailman.
Might I suggest those of you at ISTE keep this in mind:
Question all your assumptions of what education is. Then, with a clear mind look towards the future. Because in the future, the ridiculous might be commonplace.