Saturday, July 08, 2006

TED Conference - A view from the BIG thinkers!

Each year the biggest 'thinkers' in the world converge on Monterey, California to share what they believe will be the biggest issues society and mankind will face in the coming years. This is the conference where Al Gore outlined his newest Global Warming theories to the world. This is the 'TED Conference.' (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

So, you are asking yourself, why is he writing about this? What does this have to do with education and technology integration? Well, there were two speakers at the TED conference this year who spoke about issues that relate directly to the use of technology in schools. While these speakers didn't outline solutions to the issues surrounding tech integration or the newest gadgets available to us, what they did do is discuss how education as a whole is changing and how technology has advanced and its relation to society.

Sir Kenneth Robinson is the author of "Out of Our Minds: Learning to Be Creative" and is a leading educational scholar in Great Britain. The video on the TED Conference site is about 15 minutes in length and outlines some of the issues schools and education in general must face in the next 5-10 years. In the short video he lists three themes that will effect education and the educational process. First there is 'evidence of human creativity.' Second, everyone has an interest in education, but no one really knows where it is going and therefore cannot plan for the next educational structure. And third, all children have a capacity for innovation and education.

A few of the points Robinson makes are especially important to remind ourselves of when integrating technology into our teaching repertoire. The first thing to remember is that the 9th graders that enter the SMUHSD this year will graduate from high school in 2010 and if they work until the current retirement age, they will retire in 2055. In the next 30 years, more people will graduate from our educational systems than have graduated in the entirety of the previous history of our educational system. And finally, we need to have a new conception of 'Human Ecology.' Our current educational system has 'stripmined' human minds for the commodity to be successful in an industrial economy. In the future, this won't work!

The second video on the TED Conference site that I would encourage you to take a look at is the presentation from David Pogue. Pogue, is the New York Times technology columnist. Pogue's talk surrounds the idea that the amount of technology around us in our lives has expanded drastically since the inception of the personal computer in the early 1980's. Early on there was a command line interface that only allowed those who had a significant amount of technological expertise use a computer. As time as gone on, the number people using computers and the number of possible user options has increased greatly. With all this increased usage and options, computers by and large have not really become easier to use. Pogue speaks to the average technology user's woes: too many options, confusing user interfaces and the lack of support from technology companies.

Please spend a few minutes and take a look at the TED Conference site and the Robinson talk and Pogue presentation.

If you have any comments, please feel free to add them to the blog post.


Anonymous said...

I say briefly: Best! Useful information. Good job guys.

Anonymous said...
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