30 March 2007

Some thoughts about the 21st Century

This blog posting is a little different than what we've done - meant mainly to make you think. It also involves watching a video on Windows Media Player. It's due before vacation starts.

You may think that what we do here is confined to our school, or even just to the community of Branford. That's not true. The other day, I came across the following blog posting which mentioned some of the work we have been doing with this blog. The reference was posted on the blog Shakespeare Teacher, which is maintained by Bill, a teacher with a computer and an affinity for Shakespeare. Read what he said about our blog here. His entry also includes a thought-provoking video worth seeing. You can also view it by clicking here - make sure you turn up the sound and be patient through the first few moments, which deals with another high school.

Reading Bill's post and watching the video got me thinking about how important it is for us to realize the potential of some of the digital tools we have begun using in English 10. Our world is changing immensely, things are shifting. What we write and post here can be read by people all over the world. They, in turn, can post their own ideas in response, creating opportunities to expand our ideas and influence well beyond F14. Are we taking full advantage of this technology?

After viewing this video, consider this: Web technology is transforming how we communicate, and it is opening up countless opportunities for the collaboration, discussion, and sharing of ideas. Our own example is only a small scale, but the potential is almost limitless. Such social networking has powerful potential and will be a major part of the world that you will be living and working in. We need to be ready to survive and thrive in that world. How can educators, like me, better prepare you for such a future? What kinds of skills will you need to be successful in a rapidly changing world like this?

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow. that video really surprised me on some things. Some other things just sounded like it was that way. I don't reallt hink there is a away for teachers to prepare their students for technology of the future because you as the teacher don't know what they'll think of next. So it's a fair game. I think just letting us know that we need to exceed in our education because of the fact soon computers will be more developed and higher quality. I think that's the only way of "preparing" us. For a world like this. I think every academic subject you could learn would be practical to continue living in the world we do. KNowing english and grammar to be educated and know our literature. Science because science is every where and can be so helpful and increase higher chances of good jobs like doctors and surgeons. A Different language because in our country we hav such a diverse population and sooner or later every human being will be interracial. Math the same reason as science, very practical. Arts, creates imagination to create/ invent anytihng you want, and increase skill level. There's not really one skill we should study to be successful in the future. Just do our best to learn as much as we can in academic courses, just try our best.
(Nicole T
P. 1)

Olivia said...

I agree with Nicole's first idea. When i first read the assignment i didnt think there was a way for teacher's to prepare us for the future. No one, including our teachers, know how advanced the future is going to be so how can they prepare us for the unknown. Our teachers are there to educate us, and in my opinion our education is the most important thing in our lives at this point. I dont doubt that everything will be much more advanced in the future, especially at the rate things are advancing now. It is kind of like how my Grandparents think the computer is the most confusing piece of equipment in the world. They can't figure out anything and always call me for help. Our generation grew up with computers and we know how to work them very well.We also had classes about how to work computers and how to type on them. We were educated. My Grandparents always talk about how they wish they took classes to learn how to work computers, or they wish they had them in school to work with. The more you practice an advanced invention the better you are at it. If my Grandparents were educated in using the computer, they wouldnt have to call me. If all of our teachers educate us with as much knowledge as they have about the future, and this carries on through college, then i dont think we can be any more prepared. I think common knowledge will help us in the future. We already have a car that parallel parks itself. I think people are trying to make this world so advanced so that you dont need all of these skills. It dosent take skill to press a button to park your car. In my opinion, thats how everything will be in the future;You press a button, and it works.I think we should take environmental classes for the future. We should learn how to save fuel,prevent pollution, and save energy. That is how we can protect and advance our future.That is our best preparation.

-Olivia
-Per.4

Mr. Miller said...

Nicole and Olivia: Thank you for your thoughts. I agree that it is difficult to anticipate the future, especially with things changing so much.

I guess the central question is this: After viewing the "Did You Know?" video, what kinds of skills will people like you need to survive in this world. If things are going to change so much, what core skills and concepts will we need to be successful and to adapt to these changes?

What do you think about those numbers involving China and India? What does that mean for the American worker?

matt s. said...

I have actually seen this video before in one of my other history classes. I was supriised then and I still am suprised by the stats. It seems threating in a "good way". The video promotes the need to continue working hard to me and others. It shows that the road will only get rougher in finding jobs. MAny people may say there is no way to prepare for the future. But I think there are few simple required skills that need to be learned, if we are to be succesfull. One of the most important is preparing indivuald for their jobs by helping them with resumes, skills in interviews, and writing if they are to be emailing or communicating with anyone else in the world. English classes can teach these skills to us so we can create better future.

James said...

That video was very informational and it got me thinking a lot. One thing that i thought about after watching this video is that America is a fairly uninteligent country compared to others and most would think that we are one of the smartest. One stat that I found amazing was that soon, China will be the number one English speaking country in the world. But the video is right, the world is changing everyday and it will never stop changing. Scientists and researchers will continue to improve upon things to make life easier than it is. I think that teachers can help out students by somehow getting them ready to face the real-world and start a career. I think that is the biggest thing. I also believe that teaching using new technologies is necessary because teachers dont want their students to get left in the dust in the future when things are even more technological. One more stat that i found that was kind of scary was the fact that by the year 2049, there could be a computer that could have better computation capabilities of the entire human race. That reminds me of the movie Robots with WIll Smith when the robots try to take over the human race. However, I am really excited that I live in this time period because I can't wait to see what humans will come up with next. It seems like the possibilities will never end.

James
Period 1

Matt T. said...

Midsummer Post # 5 April 5

A lot of what the video state really shocked me. It made it seem that in the future getting a good job and also achieving a worthwhile education are going to get increasingly tough. It seemed very hard to believe that people now a day are learning about things that didn’t even come out yet. This clip also explained how people in other countries are a lot smarter than us. There is nothing really there to do to help us get smarter quick. In the future we will be basically living off computers. The population will increase dramatically and many things will change because of that. For skills in the future I would say that kids need to be prepared to attend a very good college and try to pursue a job they will like, and stick too for a while (more than a year or two). In this world computers are often used a lot as well. It is best to become familiar with these types of technology to help get a better grasp on life as well. Knowing computer skills will greatly benefit us for the future because a lot of this will be ran by computer technology.
-Matt T.

Lindsay said...

This was a very interesting video to see, because a lot of the information provided I did not know. The video pointed out that India and China are becoming extremely overpopulated; the number of people in both of these countries are increasing each day. It is very hard to believe that these countries are more overpopulated than our own country, because we too, are always surrounded by people everywhere we go. This video also mentioned about how children in schools today are learning about things that were never even invented in this period of time. When I heard this, I expected that this was occurring, because it stands to reason that our world is in a state of extreme "progress" and children would need to be educated about something before actually "knowing" that it will soon exist. I can't say that there is anything more teachers can be doing to further educate their students, because we truly do not know what is to come in the future. However, everyone should take this video seriously because our country is, indeed, experiencing rapid growth-in industry, population, and technology. This affects us both negatively and positively.

-Lindsay, Period 1

natschja said...

There’s not much that educators can do to prepare us for the future; especially when no one knows what lies in the future. However, what I did notice was how uninformed and unaware some of today’s youth can be. Sometimes it takes a video like this one to clearly put things into perspective, and realize there are billions of people out there who are more advanced than we are. I think that the best thing educators can do is encourage people to open their eyes, and motivate tomorrow’s leaders to want to make a difference. And motivate people to want to learn, and be more tolerant of other cultures.

Jordan said...

I think that the world is changing so fast, that it may be very hard for educators to prepare their students for upcoming changes. Although I think the world is changing so fast that it may be difficult to keep up, I also think that things such as doing blog postings, like these, help for us to learn how to communicate with others, and learn from others without actually seeing and talking to them. It is important for us to learn how to learn without someone saying and feeding us information. Although in school using books isn’t necessarily having information fed to you, the teachers or librarians are there if you need help. I think that having ‘discussions’ through these blogs helps a lot to learn how to understand things through others especially if no one really talks in class because on the computer it is much easier to express how you feel about something. For example if everyone in the class is thinking one thing and you are thinking another thing, then it’s a very hard thing to raise your hand and say your opinion when everyone else disagrees. On the computer, it’s easier to say exactly what you think. Using blogs like this has absolutely taught me a new way of communicating with classmates. I also think that using things such as bloging with students from across seas may be interesting because we could discuss things that we have all done in school, and see what they think about certain things compared to how we thing of them in America. Skills that may be essential to have while growing up in a rapidly changing world would include technical skills. Knowing how to use a computer is a huge part of the working and schooling world right now, and will only get more complicated as the world grows.

Anonymous said...

I think that because of the rapid changes that take place every second of everyday in the world, the challenge for educators to prepare their students for the upcoming future will be almost impossible. My theory is that the best to educate students for the future is to tell them to continue in school because even though everything is outdated within years, the bases of all education and theories are most likely going to be similar if not the same no matter the new findings. The skills that will need to be known in life with or without the rapid changes is not all the information up to date, but the basic structure of the common classes. The most important subject I think is English because no matter what a student decides to do or comes across in the future, reading, writing, and communication will always be used the most. By time a student finishes there education, gets a job, and retires I don’t think that they will be to far behind in educational advances causing them not to be educated enough for their life. Last but not least I assume that as changes occur in technology and education, so will the knowledge of every person living in that period.
Luke
Per. 4

Zachary F said...

I find that there is no need for regular teachers to be teaching about the technology around us. The only teachers that should guide us through the rapid growth are the ones that were assigned for this duty; elective classes throughout the High School already do so. Along with that, there is no true need to be taught about it, as people learn by themselves, following others in their paths. For example, I was never taught about the uses of a computer, other than the useless information taught in Research and Study; I learned by searching throughout the net for information that best suited me, in which I could learn during my free time. Although, if teachers plan to use this kind of technology in their classes, like Mr. Miller, they 100% should go and teach them how it works, like he had done. Overall, everyone will be able to cope with the changing world, as they have done so before.

Will J said...

I think it is really hard to predict the future, so we won't really know what's going to happen. I think the best way to prepare is to make up some technology ideas yourself, then go from there. The most surprising thing to me was that if we shipped ALL our jobs over the china, they would still have unemployed people. The myspace facts didn't surprise me at all, considering how many people have one. i was also surprised that Nintendo spent more money in 2002 then the U.S. government. Even though Nintendo was developing the Wii then, the government should spend more on research.

Alyssa D said...

I don’t think that educators right now can teach us many things from the future, because we don’t know what is going to happen yet. So for now, I think we should just learn about the technologies that are happening now, and worry about the newer things when it is time. I think that educators are teaching kids the right things that they should know for the future, and getting them ready to go to college or wherever they are going to go after high school. No one really knows what the new technologies are going to be in the future, I think we are just going that have to wait and see, and then learn about them when the time comes. I feel that maybe if technology gets more advance then people are going to get lazy, but also there may be people that can learn from it and get smarter, because that is what it should be used for.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't able to watch the whole thing but from what I have seen I don't think that there is much more teachers can do. Teachers are already doing enough by having us go online and other things like that. I feel that you can try to predict the future but you can never know what to truly expect in the future. How can you teach kids about something that hasn’t happened yet or hasn't even been created yet? Technology has been developing fast but some things are self-learnable. Like ipods and cell phones, we never had to have a class in school to learn how to use them.

Danielle
period 1

Anonymous said...

The video was very interesting and suprised me a lot. I couldnt beleive that some of that information was real. It would be very hard for teachers to prepare us for the future. I dont think they can prepare us because technology is changing rapidly. It is also very hard to know what is going to happen in the future. The best way to get kids ready for school is to keep updating them on the new technology and keep them studying and in school. Since no one can predict the furure kids will just have to stay and school and watch what happens in the future. We are not taking atvantage of the technology we have and we should use it more to see what happens in the future

Garrett V. period-4

Shane said...

After seeing this video all I have to say, is no I didn’t know. I’m somewhat amazed by this because of all the random facts that actually all do mean a lot. At first I didn’t really know how to feel. I was shocked, confused, and kind of scared for the future. I know people would be like why is he scared, that’s ridiculous. But seriously, look at what this slideshow presentation just said. That’s a scary future to live in, it’s not what we’re used to right now, everything is going to change and be out of date so fast. There’s nothing that we can really do about any of this information but take it in. The only thing that we really can do is question it. How do we know this is accurate? How do we even know if this is true at all? We don’t know if it’s true or accurate. This could be totally made up and be a giant lie. We don’t know and we probably never will until the time comes.
I also find this somewhat sad to hear that China has more honor students then we basically have kids in the United States of America. Another pathetic fact is that Myspace, if a country, could be the 11th largest in the world. The text message one was also pretty bad. Like I said I don’t know if this is true or if it’s a big lie but either way it makes you think. To answer your question Mr. Miller I’m really unsure as to what you can do to help prepare us. You’re right this world is rapidly changing; the only skill we could use is adaptation to it. And honestly I think that’d be quite tough to teach in a classroom. Technology is taking over and we need to start getting ready for it.

-Shane
Period 1

Dominique said...

I don't think it is possible for anyone to prepare for the future if the claims from that video are true. How can someone possibly prepare for a future that involves computers that supposedly can accomplish more than the human race? I'm not really sure what skills people will need to be successful in tomorrow's world. It's kind of scary to think that technology will advance that much. It seems like it will change the world completely. It was really scary to imagine that my education will be outdated a few years after I get my college degree? I think that adjusting to a world like that will be very difficult.

will b. said...

I found the video very interesting. Some of the stuff I had known already. For example, it said that Myspace has 100 million people, which I knew because that same number was said on VH1. But I didn't know the average myspace page was checked 30 times a day. I did not know that 47 million laptops were shipped out last year, which is a large number, and it tells you just how many people use computers these days, and how they can basically run us. This video though, I don't know about predicting how the future will be. I think more research has to get done on other things, rather than statistics on technology. How would they manage a computer that is more powerful than the human brain? that is insane.

Anonymous said...

From the slide show i just watched I learned a lot of new and interesting facts, as well as some statistics I never even knew about. I thought that the slideshow basically was telling us that there is no way to predict the future because we have yet to know what the future has in store for us. It kinda scared me a little to know that a computer would come out that would outsmart a human, and then later be upgraded to outsmart the entire human race. I like the facts that that had when they said that by the end of this video 60 babies would be born. Which probably means 6 will be born while I'm typing this out, which is pretty awesome. But then again you have to ask youself where all this information was coming from. Are they're really going to be technology that's smarter than us, cause if so, that's creepy. I mean really creepy. I feel like they're gonna take over like in that movie Robots. I think that when the advances in technology come out, that we are in fact taking full advantage of them, because we're already working on how to improve it the second it comes out. And it's weird to think that the word computer only a hundred years or so ago would be such a funny word compared to know. You don't hear about parent's talking about when they had a myspace, or anything else that our generation is going through with technology. But I find it really fasinating how so much can happe n in so little time. I even remember when CD's came out cause I was the only one with a video cassete player and I felt weird cause I didn't know what a CD was and now I don't even need CD's cause of ipods. It makes you wonder what can happen in all that time. Like what will happen in the next year, or 5 years 10 years or even 100 years. Pretty soon cars'll be floatin and people will be getting into transporters to go to work and stuff. An A+ will be a low grade and a Zx will be a high grade or something really random hahaha

The whole world is changing, and this video got me thinking a lot and my brain kinda hurts but I'll be alright, I'm so tired, but happy cause i got this blog on time

-Brandon Period 1

matt r - period #1 said...

As much as this video clip was interesting, it was frightening. The predicted development of technology is what most overwhelmed me. For instance, in about 5-10 years, there will be a computer that will possess an intellect that exceeds that of the human brain. I can only imagine what activities the human race will be engaging in that will require something brainier than a human itself. Although it may be benefiting some portion of our society, I believe that technology is also destroying it. Gadgets and such are replacing humans in areas in which they need not be replaced. These fields include the arts and music - areas of which require individuality and uniqueness. No matter how well or efficiently a machine may perform a task, I firmly believe that a human possesses the ability to outstrip and surpass it.

matt r - period #1

Adam said...

This was a very surprising video to me. All the facts seem very extreme. I think if this video is true than it is going to be very hard to prepare for the future. Even if teachers in highschool do everything they can to teach us about the new technology coming out and how to use it, than in less than 2 years all the information we learned will be "old and useless" information. To be succesful in this type of world you will need to be able to adapt easily and learn quick. Also you will have to learn to think outside of the box and not limit your finite mind to just what we think is possible, because it looks like anything will be possible in the future.

Jesse said...

I am so lost. I don't really know what educators can do to make it easyer to learn. I personally think that book learning is a lot easier than technology. Technology is just inconvienient and annoying. I think that book learning is alot better and more convienient. Also, that computer that will have the copacity of a human brain, BAD IDEA. Have you not seen I. ROBOT?

Jesse Period 4

John M said...

After seeing this video I thought it was really pointless. I didn’t understand the point of it at first because it was just a bunch of random facts about the future. Then after a while it hit me, someone the stuff they were saying was crazy, more like shocking. I think if this video is true than it is going to be very difficult to get ready for the future. Even if teachers in high school keep showing us new things about the new technology coming out and how to use it, than in less than 2 years all the information we learned will be outdated and old information. That’s a scary future to live in, it’s not what we’re used to as we speak, everything is going to change and be out of date. There’s nothing that we can really do about any of this information but take it in and try and prepare.

said...

I think that educaters, don't really know what to expect next in the future of technology. We are unable to predict the future because there are so many inventions and ideas ahead. We have so many expectations of the future, wether or not we will survive through medical school, jobs, relationships... After seeing the video, it really brought things into perspective, it opened up new thoughts in my mind. I don't think that there is a specific skill that we should learn in the future, just one that best suites you and yoiur life style. One that will help you in the future. We should be the best that we can be. Educators should try to come up with new ways to teach students. More intersting things to learn about.

Anonymous said...

After seeing this video I was shock how much the world is changing. How teacher can prepare us for the future is by just teaching us every thing they find out new and keep doing what they are doing this whole time. If the teacher didn’t teach us every thing they know we would not be one of the smartest county and we would not know anything in the future. What kind of skills we would need is a good education in every thing. If you need to know something every thing will be on a computer so every one should be leaning how to use a computer. They say a computer is going to be smarter then people that’s why people should now how to use a computer.

Anthony G
period 4

Anonymous said...

There are many ways that teachers can prepare us for the future. There is technology like computers that teaches us for the future. Computers are a source of information that teaches how to get ready for the challenges in life. Words are another way to communicate to students about the future. They show us the English language. Teachers also teach us skills about learning a foreign language.
giuseppe period 4

Ted said...

After watching the video, I am quite amazed at some of the things that it had shown about what is going on around the world. I think it was very interesting how it showed certain facts about certain countries. These facts were not any facts, but they were facts, in my opinion, that I could not even believe. One of the most interesting and amazing facts was that China today has more honors students than all students that the U.S. has as a whole. I am not completely surprised by this fact because the United States is not the only country in the world that can accomplish things like these in the world. As shown in this fact, China and many other countries can too, and I think this is because today's technology is getting so in depth and keeps on improving that anywhere in the world you can accomplish what you want to do. The only thing is that as of right now, it seems as though people are being taught how to use the technology that we have, but the problem is that the technology keeps on getting even more improved so people have to keep on learning more and new things about new developments in technology. The only thing that I believe that we can do is just stay on top of what is going on in the world with the technology being used and fully understand and be capable of using it when we have to use it.
(Mr. Miller - The reason why this is late is because I was sick the day before this was due and I couldn’t really do it until now)

Jenn with Two n's said...

After watching the video I was really shocked as to how much the world is changeing everday. It really is exciting and thrilling to see how much technology takes over the universive everyday and how much people don't realize the change that is actually occuring right before our eyes. For me to be successful in a rapid change as this alls I can really say is to make sure I can stay aware and be prepared for anything that the world has to offer to me. If technology has gotten this far between myspaces and new lap tops daily than I can only imagine how farther expander techonology will be in the year os 2049. The world we liv in today is help with way more than what is before our eyes today and I am excited and ready for all the new change the world has to offer for me.

Jess W. said...

I think certain aspects of technology should be utilized in specific parts of school- math, science, etc. Things that involve more analytical and diagram-related things, because there is no way that computers can replace the human mind for things that are most abstract, like the arts and english, foreign languages. A balance of technology and human discussion should be essential to a good class structure. Blogs like these and equipment like the Smart Board help students get prepared for real-world situations that may involve high-functioning technology.

Michelle said...

After watching the video I am amazed by the internet. I go on it all the time but I never thought about other countries using the internet. One fact that I thought was cool was that China will soon be the number one English speaking country in the world. Another fact that I thought was interesting was 1 out of every 8 couples married in the US last year met online. When I watch TV I always see online dating sites, but I didn't think that many couples met and got married from those sites. It was very interesting to read about how technology is being used throughout the world.

Michelle
Period 1

Karl Fisch said...

It was very interesting reading everyone's thoughts on this. You guys did a nice job.

A few quick points. Matt T. mentioned people in other countries being smarter than us. That's not quite what the video said (or at least was trying to say), it was just a matter of greater numbers - pointing out that there are lots of smart folks all over the world, and we need to figure out how best to collaborate with them.

Several folks talked about computers being smarter than humans. Please note that "computation capability" is not the same thing as "being smarter." It will still take a while after passing human computation capability before a computer will actually be able to do what a human brain can. But, yes, that will probably occur as well, but you need to add probably 15 to 20 years to the "computation capability" date.

Finally, yes this can be scary. But it can also be exhilarating and exciting. Think of all the amazing things your generation - and the generations to follow - will be able to accomplish. You're going to do wonderful things . . .

George D. said...

In watching the video, I found that it was amazing how often technology tends to change with our time. Day by day, new innovations are being presented which make everything in life easier to do. Pretty soon, we're not even going to have to physically do anything, we'll just have to push a button and whatever we want to have done will happen. This will make the preparation for the future difficult because the technology is changing so rapidly that it will be hard to catch up with. Therefore, we will need to be able to adapt quicker as these technological inventions begin to advance. For us to be successful, we will need to blossom just as fast as technology does and catch up with it so that we can utilize it to its potential.

Anonymous said...

After watching this video , Ive realized how much technoglogy is really taking over earth.We use technoglogy for so much and sometimes I think we forgot how life would be if we didn't have it. Technoglogy and the world are changing rapidly before our eyes.For me the way to stay in touch with the new technoglogy is to just become aware and learn the new technology as is comes along.I think that a way for you as an educator to keep your students in touch witht he latest technology is to keep on doing what your doing.The class should be a balance of discussion with whatever we're working on and technology ,such as the blogs. If it weren't for you introducing this blog website to me , I wouldnt have known about it and probably never learned about it.


-Liz P.

Anonymous said...

yes I just realized after reading my postign over that I spelt technology wrong a lot ,but I knwo hwo to spell it lol.

Brianna said...

After watching the video i have come to realize how much this world realy relies on technology. We live in a ever changing world, you can go out and purchase a computer that is said to be the best and fastest in the world when a computer is being reserched that is faster and overall better. Us, our parents and our parents parents have all grown up in different times. When almost every family with children has a computer, a small houshold with just a older couple might not have one. They did not grow up with computers in their schools, all of their papers were hand written or typed on typewritters. To this day the averge person over the age of 60 does not know how to use a computer. In the video a statement was made that in the year 2013 a computer would be built that exceeds the computation capability of the Human Brain, and by the year 2023 a 1,000 computer will exceed the capabilities of the Human Brain. The computer can do couculations and other computations faster then the human brain. But i wonder, can a machine that was built by humans ever do a job BETTER then humans?