Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cascading abundance of opportunities vs limited designed intentions

Kevin Kelly is an amazing person and has a "master blog" (He calls it his uberblog.) that covers a multitude of interests.  It is well worth a look, but you may get lost there!

His thoughts remind me, of course, of education and technology.

We are currently teaching and working in schools (and with curriculum) that are built for the Industrial Age while our students are living in a 21st Century Technological Age.  Is it any wonder that our students are not engaged?

Somewhere recently I read that the Industrialization Revolution took a century to emerge/complete, but the Technological Revolution changes ever so much faster (as we all know) …

Below is just one comment that Kevin Kelly makes regarding various products/inventions of today (my underlining, bold, and color changes!):

“Contrast this [current] cascading abundance of opportunities [of today’s products] with almost any product of the industrial age--say an electric rotary saw, or a color-fast dye, or a maplewood chair. While some of these objects have a few dual uses (the chair could be used as a step stool or to wedge a door open, and the saw motor could be used to drive a drill), they are pretty much limited to their designed intentions. There is no river of opportunities flowing from them [Industrial Age products or inventions]. So that even if chairs, dye, and saws were to become universally abundant, their physical plentitude would not change the world much.”

Students today are much more creative and have the attitude that “It CAN be done!” (not that “It won’t work!”) Everything they have ever known has been re-worked, or re-used, or re-mixed, or re-imagined into something newer and better and always will be in their future!

We must teach the students of today in their environment and with the attitude that they have grown up in/with and the environment/attitude they will continually see in the future!



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