This week’s theme has been the ever expanding quantity of information and our ability to glean insight from it. The thing to remember about information is that it doesn’t have a physical location. Oh sure it can be tied to locations but you can manipulate it anywhere. This has huge implications for education.
It seems the trend right now is for more and more learning to happen online. This is called online education right now but it used to be called distance learning. This term is important because the distance is variable. As I have said before, once the teacher and student aren’t in the same room, it doesn’t matter how far away they are. The Internet provides the avenue for this to become a global enterprise. The remaining barriers to world wide education is a language barrier but that is going to dissolve pretty soon with realtime voice and text translation tools.
All of this leads to a natural disaggregation of existing physically based structures. You can see it in almost every section of society now. Can this be applied to governments too? Governments are the ultimate expression of systems and structures tied to a specific location right? They should be affected by the disaggregation effect too. I think they are.
I came across this story a few weeks ago where a company is going to put a ship off the shore of California. This ship will have high speed Internet via satellite and will be home to hundreds of high tech workers from Asia. These are people who can’t get Visas from the US government. So what happens is they stay off shore just past the 12 mile limit and work remotely. It’s an interesting idea. I don’t see why they have to be offshore and can’t just be in another country but I guess there are certain workers who you have to meet with once in a while.
What will be really interesting is if people start to create their own communities on the oceans. In the past it wasn’t practical to do this but once your work is remote, it doesn’t matter how far away you are. We have ties that bind us that are a lot stronger than a sense of nationalism. The concepts of family, religion and tribe are much older than nation-states. Perhaps the Internet will start to break down some of that too?
What is happening here is a lot bigger than Common Core Standards, or standardized testing or international tests. Any change in technology inevitably changes society for better or worse, and education in inextricably linked to society.
Here’s a video explaining the concept of the ship off shore.