Knowledge is building on itself so rapidly that technological advancements can be hard to keep up with. Science fiction becomes a reality as new technologies touch all facets of our lives. Amongst the updates that the Government is rolling out ultra-fast broadband, there are snippets of news about wearable technologies and hackers stealing 1B from banks online.
So what are the latest technological advancements and what do they mean for education?
Advances in screen technologies see new short-throw data projects to cover a whole wall, smart touch-screen keypads and emoji or emoticon keypads. Why use text to communicate when we can message each other through symbols?
3D printers printing anything from toys to guns and robots, food and even human body parts. Yes you read right, food and body parts! Up until recently 3D printers only used plastic, but now micro materials used can produce soft, fibre-based products, including human tissue and food items. Eifel tower pancakes (from PancakeBot) for breakfast anyone?
As games become more realistic, the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred and virtual reality experiences (in real time) will make a big come-back. Action and sports toys also go from being a Hollywood fantasy to reality. Marty Mcfly’s would be impressed with today’s very first hoverboard.
From fitness trackers and smart watches to Google glasses and now smart contact lens. Wearable technology (something we wear or something we have inserted into our bodies) enables us to synch with real-time technology, as well as monitor our bodies to enhance our biological condition. For example, Google’s contact lenses monitor blood sugar levels.
You might already have a car that wirelessly hooks into your mobile device, senses or displays when you're backing or doesn’t require petrol; but what about the car that drives for you? Self-driving cars based on GPS and satellite technology are already here. Watch out for space travel advances in technology as well where we go where no man has gone before…
Take a sneak peak in the future: http://www.futuretimeline.net/
Anything to add to this list?
What does these advancements mean for us as humans?
Do they have anything to do with education?
Would they have any impact on our views/theories about knowledge and learning?
What might our young people need to know?
What are your thoughts? Any more predictions for e-learning for 2015?
Look out for an Enabling e-Learning dedicated post to educative trends and technologies in Term 2.
Great scott it was Back to the Future day two days ago (I'm a bit late)! When Marty McFly travelled to the future in the 1989 "Back to the Future" sequel - to October 21, 2015, he was greeted by flying cars, self-tying sneakers and hovering skateboards. So how close is our reality to the predictions made in the movie?
We don’t have the flying cars, but Google is certainly working on a driveless car. Self-tying sneakers, lets go for Velcro instead. Faxes, not sure who's still sending these and the rest of our technological advancements are around us everyday, not far from our reach, some on our person or even inside our bodies. Technology is becoming smaller, more personalised, more wearable, more economic and therefore more accessible.
Two Back to the Future icons reunite to discuss the future becoming reality in this Toyota ad
Mad science and predictions for the future
Steve Wheeler recently blogged about the Back to the Future Day and wrote, “We run the risk of ridicule when we try to predict the future. No-one has been there. It's impossible to predict it with great accuracy.” This reminded me of a book I read years ago called, Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition, which was all about very ‘out there, crack-pot’ kind of thinking around technology in the future. Greg Rehmke writes in, A Great Mambo Chicken And Other Stories of Science Slightly Over the Edge:
“Today's high technology looks familiar to us only because we use it. The idea of talking heads in boxes (television) transmitted over miles of thin air would sound crackpot just a few generations ago. A single generation ago, microwave ovens would have seemed like weird magic. So how weird will tomorrow's technology be? And where do we draw the line between today's crackpots and visionaries?”
Image source: Creative Commons
Great question, Tessa.
I'm no Trekkie but certainly did avidly watch every episode at 6pm on BBC2 during the 70's! There are many examples of technologies that were back then thought of as surely impossible in the future yet have come to pass as commonplace. This blog post from 2009 lists the top ten:
1. Communicator (Cellphone)
2. Large View Screen (Display Wall)
3. Tricorder (Smartphone)
4. Sliding Doors (swoosh!)
5. Remote Location Finding (Find my Phone)
6. Wireless Earpiece (Bluetooth)
7. Biometrics (Fingerprint or Retina scanning)
8. Portable Memory (USB stick)
10. Personal Computer
My favourite though is the Translator device which could take an alien language and translate it into English. Having had some students visit from China recently I have been amazed at the capabilities of the Google Translate app! It really helped to break down communication barriers. Not sure it can handle the Klingon language, though...
Great list Clive, we're definitely going where no man (or woman) has gone before...
And what about the Jetsons? Check out these 8 Far-Out 'Jetsons' Contraptions That Actually Exist Today.
Any more from the blasts from the past?
Well these updates were sooo last year! Here's some of the latest technological in 2016 - just from August from Futurist speaker, Thomas Frey's Facebook page.
The whole page is full of amazing technological advancements, both exciting and scary, but what does this mean for our children? While the scenarios in this following video are imaginary, they're also not so far from the truth, Thomas Frey talks about preparing our young people for jobs that don't even exist yet and muses on 101 Endangered Jobs by 2030.
What kind of transferrable skills and dispositions will our young people need for this uncertain future? Are we on track preparing them for this or are we running out of time?