Monday, September 15, 2008

Shift Happens


After watching the video Shift Happens on youtube, my biggest question was how can we prevent this. Obviously not prevent or stop any technological advancements of the future but basically how can we keep the United States in the loop.

Much of the video is frightening for an American teenager. To stop and think of the possibility of other nations being more intelligent and powerful than we are, if they aren't already, is almost overwhelming to comprehend. We grow up thinking we are the best and now we are going to be England of the 21st century, refering to the comparison made in the video.

Probably the most eye opening fact of the video is that as a nation we are spending 140 million dollars on Nintendo research and barely spending half that on education. Bringing me to the next biggest question, If we will be working with tools that don't exist yet how do we prepare? What's the point of learning things in our freshman year at college if those things will be obselete and unnecessary to have a successful career in life?

These questions are tough to answer and the only thing we can do is stay open-minded. We must be ready to change and learn at any point in our lives not just in high school. We need to be students our whole lives and learn how to operate these computers that are predicted to exceed the computation power of a human brain in the year 2013.


7 comments:

Joanne Troutner said...

Matthew, what type of skills do you need to handle the massive amount of info Shift Happens talks about? How can these skills be learned?

alicebarr said...

"Much of the video is frightening for an American teenager. To stop and think of the possibility of other nations being more intelligent and powerful than we are, if they aren't already, is almost overwhelming to comprehend. We grow up thinking we are the best and now we are going to be England of the 21st century, refering to the comparison made in the video."

Your post makes me want to show the video to the students in my school. It is scary to think of how America's role in the world has changed. Have you read the book "The World Is Flat" by Thomas Friedman? It is an interesting insight in to globalization. I'm not sure many students have even been exposed to this concept.

Good luck with your blogging. Hope you enjoy the class. Mrs. Davis knows SO much about Web 2.0. You are lucky to be able to take this class! Enjoy!

hwakelam said...

Hi Matthew
Great post -
It's interesting to hear you speak about how other nations will take us over and be 'better than us'.

I think it's actually about how we work better with other nations to actually use some of the possibilities differently - more connected = more, not less powerful.

I think what you're learning at college IS useful - someone once told me that nothing you learn is ever wasted - but it's in appyling this knowledge to the moving shifting world around you that it becomes powerful...

Good luck and enjoy the journey.
Harriet

BlueU said...

I think you nailed it when you said "we need to be students our whole lives". I'm a 42 year old teacher and I learn something new every day. I like to consider myself a "life-long learner". Hopefully we, as teachers, can give you students the skills you will need to carry on and succeed in this changing world. With an optimistic attitude like yours, I'm sure you will!
Diane Aronow
Teacher in Western NY

Kai the Spy Guy said...

Hi Matt,

You asked, "If we will be working with tools that don't exist yet, how do we prepare?"

That's an excellent question. I think many of the tools and applications we will be using in the future will be based on technologies we are using today. Being proficient with currently available technology and staying on top of advances should be adequate preparation. For example, I am fairly certain that, in the future, very sophisticated virtual worlds will likely replace today's traditional classroom settings. I can prepare for that now by learning how to teach in the relatively primitive worlds of Second Life and EduSim. They're not exactly the same as what will be available in the future but they can be considered blueprints for more advanced tools to come.

You're off to a great start with your blog. Asking questions like that is an essential part of intelligent writing. Good luck!

~Marie said...

Hi Matthew,
Great Post! As the parent of two college students, I wonder how this shift will affect them (and you), more than those of us who are not digital natives. Becoming aware of the shift is the first step to getting prepared for it. Doing what you are doing - diving in and being part of the shift is the second, and as Blueu commented above, you've got to be a lifelong learner now more than ever. Good luck and thanks for sharing!

Anne said...

Hi Matt
I am a teacher at Wedderburn College and we are learning about the web through our Web2Teen ning. Your teacher, Liz Davis asked if our students could visit your blog and Jack's and Doug's. We have had some trouble with getting access to the other two blogs and so your blog is the one that will probably get the most attention.
We have had a lively discussion about your Shift Happens post. The most contenscious part for my students was your comment that said
"Much of the video is frightening for an American teenager. To stop and think of the possibility of other nations being more intelligent and powerful than we are, if they aren't already, is almost overwhelming to comprehend. We grow up thinking we are the best and now we are going to be England of the 21st century, referring to the comparison made in the video"
We discussed the sense that you have that you grow up believing that your country is the best and that you feel that you are going to end up as the "England of the 21st C" They honed in on a small part of that paragraph which was that they found it interesting that you grow up believing that you are the best. I guess our culture is a little different in that we are a little less sure of ourselves. Believing we are the 'best' is something that we probably wouldn't think. In fact many people complain that in Australian society the "tall poppies" the people who are extremely successful are often knocked by others in our society. This isn't a good thing, by the way.
We also discussed the influence that the US has over us in terms of media, movies, internet and television. A very clear example is that on a daily basis we get articles and news grabs about your Presidential election. Whereas I am guessing that our Australian federal election last year didn't make the papers or tv news in the US. Of course we all recognise that the USA is arguably the most powerful country in the world and also the most influential by far. And much of that influence on our daily lives now comes by way of the internet.
So there you are. I thought that I would give you a little heads up on what our students were thinking. They may or may not comment on this particular post but I hope that you will find that there are a few more comments from some Aussie kids to read.
We would love you and your fellow students to join our ning if you are interested. In that way our students can get to know you better and vice versa.