As you may know, I follow a lot of other areas of technology besides just education technology. That is because I realized that the education system doesn’t exist in a vacuum and is a reflection of the society that spawns it. Therefore radical changes in other areas such as energy can have repercussions in other areas such as education.
It’s fascinating how certain areas of technology have synergy. Turns out the technology required to make solar panels has a lot in common with how you make LCD screens.
A team of MIT researchers has used a novel material that’s just a few atoms thick to create devices that can harness or emit light.
This proof-of-concept design could lead to ultrathin, lightweight, and flexible photovoltaic cells, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and other optoelectronic devices, the researchers say.
Very cool stuff. So what does this mean? Well, solar is a disruptive technology which I think it the future of humanities’ energy needs. Well, that and fusion. Solar follows the model of disaggregation and also supports our more mobile lifestyle. It also can be built into our existing infrastructure and does not required things like large wind turbines (wind is a very big dead end I think). (see The Disaggregation Of Energy )
How can this affect school? Well, the better displays mentioned will certainly make mobile devices more useful because you can unfold a large screen when you need to. This corrects a big limitation of mobile devices. In addition, if these can be made cheaply, you will be able to make wall sized displays in the classroom which I have been predicting for a few years.
Technology just keeps marching along.