Monday, April 4, 2011

Prognosticating is fun!

This is it, last week of CCK11.
I went through the materials, well...I mostly skimmed through them to be honest, but I really did have a blast going through them, especially Stephen's 1998 prognostications of technology and education in the future. In 1998 I graduated high school and started my undergraduate studies at the University. It's interesting that ideas, such as the PAD (or PADD if you are a star trek fan)are spot-on! Still not quite there with a few things, but we're getting there. If I could point at one thing that's great about ubiquitous technology it would be that it has the potential to open doors. Things like TED, online library catalogs, availability of library databases, and initiatives like OpenCourseWare and various MOOCs make it so that more knowledge, more education, and more access to subject matter specialists is available, for free, to many more people than before. This leaves it up the individual learner to take advantage of these sources for taking their learning up one notch.

Looking forward, one of the things that I still think needs addressing is cost of access. Sure, computers are much cheaper compared to ten years ago, so they are still more accessible from a price point perspective, but not everyone is still able to buy that netbook, that iPad, that smartphone, or the data plan that goes with it, to access all of these great educational resources. I also think that we, CCK11 participants, are part of an Elite. We have developed our digital literacy to the extent where we can make heads and tails of RSS, BBS, Blogs, Wikis, tweets and facebook for both general and educational purposes. There are still many people who have not, even if they have access to technology, so it is incumbent upon us to apprentice these learners into the digital literacy that they will need to be successful. After all, pen and paper are useless unless you know how to write, and cheap (or free) books are useless if you don't know how to read.

We need to improve access, but we also need to improve our fellow humans' digital literacies.
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