Shift Happens

If I were to take our current bout subject, education, and make a mash-up with Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat, I very well might come up with this thought-provoking video. Of course, I didn’t come up with this; credit Karl Fisch, and The Fischbowl Blog, who originally compiled it to present to high school teachers thinking about the world our students are entering and wondering how best to help them prepare…

Besides the myriad thought-provoking blurbs in the video, here are some other interesting nuggets to consider (taken from the original presentation but cut from the above version):

  • In 2002 alone, Nintendo invested more then $140 million in R&D; by comparison, the U.S. Federal Government spent less than half as much on R&D in Education.
  • It’s estimated that a week’s worth of New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century.
  • The $100 laptop project (OLPC) is expecting to ship between 50 and 100 million a year to children in underdeveloped countries.
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3 Responses to “Shift Happens”


  1. 1 Steve M. July 20, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    A good friend of mine recently interviewed a University of Minnesota professor named Scott McLeod who specializes in technology and administrators — rather than teachers. Scott’s points made me realize how integral administrators can be.

    To listen to the interview, click the red Download button here.

    Also check out Scott’s education and technology blog, where he dices out all kinds of interesting problems. It’s where I first saw the video Dave K. posted above.

    (Aside: if anyone knows how to trackback/pingback in a comment, lemme know)

  2. 2 Matt H. July 20, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Another great read on this topic is from Daniel PinkA Whole New Mind” subtitled why right-brainers will rule the future describes how left-brain qualities are easily outsourced or coded into computer programs. Left brain skills will still be required but will no longer be sufficient in the future.

    Summary:
    A historical narrative starts the book outlining four major ‘ages’:

    Agricultural Age (farmers)
    Industrial Age (factory workers)
    Information Age (knowledge workers)
    Conceptual Age (creators and empathizers)
    The fourth stage is where Pink focuses and how businesses can be successful.

    Pink references three prevailing trends pointing towards the future of business and the economy: Abundance (consumers have too many choices, nothing is scarce), Asia (everything that can be outsourced, is) and Automation (computerization, robots, processes). This brings up three crucial questions for the success of any business:

    Can a computer do it faster?
    Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?
    Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
    When these questions are present, creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate commodities. Pink outlines six essential senses:

    Design – Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
    Story – Narrative added to products and services – not just argument.
    Symphony – Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
    Empathy – Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
    Play – Bringing humor and light-heartedness to business and products.
    Meaning – Immaterial feelings and values of products.

  3. 3 Dave K. July 20, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    In an effort to track down the source of the video’s background music, I emailed the original author of the video, Karl Fisch. He, too, pointed me to Scott’s blog for reference and while perusing the site I found an outline for a 60 – 90 minute discussion “About the Demands of NCLB and Preparing Students for the New Economy.” Something we may want to consider using or incorporating at our next bout. Ami… ?


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