Capping off “The New Story”

Yesterday morning, I wrote (It’s not Just Technology) about how tech conference sessions that focused on the what and how of technology drew far more participants than those that explored the why. Well, my last session yesterday was an exception.

The morning began at 8:30 with a presentation about podcasting. I gave a half-full auditorium of educators a general overview of podcasting and then we produced a program together. It should appear on Connect Learning in the next few days. That was followed by a presentation about blogging — another overview. But I emphasized that, as a technology, blogging is entirely unimpressive — that it is the people network that has caused the emerging impact of the blogosphere.

I had delivered my Telling the New Story address the day before to an audience of about 20, but yesterday morning, when I repeated the presentation, it was to a nearly full auditorium. I’m not sure why, but I was very happy about that.

This was the 4th or 5th time I had delivered that address, and it has undergone extensive revisions each time. I think now, that it is ready for prime time. And I think what did it for me was when I capped the presentation off with a final slide (to the right), just before leaving my hotel room.

Now I’ll probably tweak the syntax a bit, but I feel that this is the head of the nail. Our curriculum is based on a future that can be clearly described and depended on. It’s one where people graduate from their schooling with the skills they need to get and hold a job for 30 to 35 years. If you advance in your job, it is because of personal skills or talents that you have. It’s a future of security — and I speak here from a U.S./Western/industrial perspective.

But largely because of advances in technology, the tools that we use to accomplish our goals change, and as a result, so do the skills that are required. The new tools, and the socio-environmental challenges that result present new questions and new problems. Security is gone.

However, these new tools, new skills, and new capabilities to harness our resources in far more efficient ways open previously unimagined opportunities for dramatically improving the human condition and the condition of our planet.

What is the difference between preparing children for a future of security, and preparing children for a future of opportunity?

What do you?

Author: David Istlandoll

David Istlandoll has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.