Posted by: crudbasher | May 31, 2012

Is The Internet Empowering Or Disrupting?

 

SpaceX Dragon (USA Today)

I watched the reentry and splashdown today of the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule. I have written a bit about this lately as I am a bit of a space buff, but something I wrote last week has bothered me. This is what I said:

“He [Elon Musk] thought it was important so he went and built a rocket. This is the age we live in folks. The Internet is an empowering force for the individual.”

It’s that last line that has bothered me. If the Internet is so empowering for individuals, then why do we read things like this?

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc has begun a new round of staff cuts in its trading and investment banking divisions, three sources familiar with the matter said, a sign of a continued penny-pinching on Wall Street. […] Many of the cuts are aimed at traders who can be replaced with new technology, or back-office, technology and operations staff who can be replaced with less expensive employees, the source said.” (H/T Huffington Post)

I know it’s hard to get people all broken up about people losing their jobs in a investment firm, but who is being empowered here?

This seems to be a very relevant question for education. Schools have extremely high labor costs and so should be targets for disruptive innovation. Of course they are government run so that insulates them for a while from usual market forces but unless the government outlaws all competing methods of learning they will eventually be disrupted. So what happens to the teachers? Will they be empowered or displaced?

I just want to set the table for tomorrow’s post.

PS I don’t think I have ever quoted myself on this blog before. What ego!! 🙂

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Responses

  1. Don’t think it hasn’t crossed my mind that I could become superfluous in my current position at my school. But that is why I keep trying to evolve and reinvent not just myself, with more learning, but also my job. I think that teachers who remain status quo, who do the same things year in year out may need to worry, not because they may be replaced by technology (after an evaluation and notice), but by someone who does things differently, more creatively, more visionary. I believe students will always need teachers to help guide them, but I do not necessarily think that these teachers will necessarily be in the same school as the student.

    • Debra you hit the nail on the head! Creativity and vision are critical components to success. My post tomorrow will be all about that.

      Thanks for commenting!!


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