The next decade.. my predictions

In response to Andrew Marcinek’s ideas about developments in the next decade: http://iteach20.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-decade.htm

Personally I feel that although we have made a lot of headway with the development of new technologies such as the iphone, the developments in social networking and the exponential growth of computing power, the world that I live in is still remarkably like the one that I have always known in my 56 (nearly 57) years on this planet.

Yesterday I answered a tweet in respect of why we have not made further progress towards the futuristic world that Andrew mentions that we had represented to us in “2001  A Space Odyssey” and “Back To The Future”. I spoke about the concept of inertia, which as you may well know was described by Isaac Newton as the fact that a body at rest will remain at rest but, with a push it will gain momentum  (i.e. once things get started there is a progression and movement!)

I think the lesson of history is that we tend to progress in fits and starts. The industrial revolution did change things in our world on a permanent basis but it took time to happen and it was not accepted by everyone.

In education I see that there are really amazing things that can be done with the power of technology as it exists now no mind how it will develop in the next ten years. But what about the forces for continuance of the old regime… those that say that we need to return to chalk and talk? Then there are those that see the advantages of technology but do not wish to see the world as they know it transformed overnight.

Which is why I can walk my dog down my road which has 1960’s houses that look a bit faded but can in many respects have looked the same way anytime in the last fifty years. there are still the old petrol guzzling cars, maybe a bit more environmentally friendly but hardly space ships flying around. I am getting ready to leave in my Renault Clio for a New Year’s Eve party which could be the same kind of thing that my parents went to half a century ago.

I believe that we need to change and that the brave new world of the science fiction writers will come about in some fashion in the future, but I am not so sure it will be as sudden or as easy as some might make out.

My predictions for the next decade will be:

(1) The continuing advancement of the power and usage of the mobile device and the introduction of these into schools (they can’t resist the phones and their power forever!)

(2) The continuing personalization of the web.. getting the technology to fit our needs… just what do we want the web to do for us? How does it fit our interests?

(3)  The continuing development of networking tools. Social networks will get bigger and involve more and more people.

(4) The rise in the number of people who will need to learn Chinese as China becomes the most important nation in the world closely followed by an increasingly powerful India.

(5) We will end 2020 with a very similar world to 2010 outwardly, there will be no teleporting or small space vehicles flying around but there will be more people working at home, more schools with mobile technology within them and children/pupils following their interests with teachers interacting with them and the technology. There will be more opportunities for people such as myself to develop their interests using the power of the internet.

(6) The most futuristic development will be in the use of Pranav Mistry’s “Sixth Sense” machines (see his brilliant TED Talk http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html

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