The World is Shrinking

(Image from Secured Networks)

Thomas Freidman quotes Carly Florin (the former CEO of HP) in his speech, and she says that, “everything we’ve called the IT revolution in the last 20 years, is just the warm up act.” This talk was about 10 years ago, and technology has already changed a drastic amount since then. 10 years ago was the warm up act, and now we have arrived at a completely different spot-and no one is showing any signs of slowing down. Friedman discusses going from a large world to a small, and from small to tiny, all while we were sleeping. People from all around the world are able to “plug in and play” to the world, creating a space that feels small. We are able to communicate with someone in China in an instant second with the click of a button, where as 50 years ago that would have seemed like a fantasy. Our world is indeed getting smaller and flatter, thanks to the world of technology.

(Image from Hargreaves)

This flattening world is changing the face of education. When I was in middle school, cell phones were slowly becoming the new cool thing to have. 8th grade graduation marked my first iPhone, but these were not used or allowed in school at all. Now, after subbing in middle school classes, I see that students are allowed to use their phones as a calculator, to look things up online in class, to text group members to collaborate on projects, and more. Here we are in college, taking an entire class that is online. I was not in elementary/middle/high school that long ago, and already there are these drastic changes. Students  now take quizzes on iPads, while I have not seen a chalkboard in years. This evidence of global shifting is prominent, and teachers have a responsibility to keep up. When I become a teacher, I must know how to use this new technology and how to teach my students to use it in a positive way. Technology in the classroom has a temptation to create laziness, and I must learn how to combat that. However, when used in a positive way, using technology can have an amazing impact on education. I interned in a classroom of 5 year olds who read a book that they loved and did many projects on, and then they got to Skype the author in class who lives in another country. That is amazing to show at such a young age that they can seek information and find it at such an ease. Skype the company boasts of using Skype in the classroom to “make global connections, to create global citizens.” Skype for Teacher is a common way trend among teachers today to make these connections worldwide. (image from Simple K12)

An individual who comes out of the school system in 12th grade has an expectation to know how to use technology, to keep up with the shrinking world. Instead of using a dictionary, students can define a word with a google search (and I too did this in my classes, and still do in my adult life). The world is getting smaller, but at the same time it seems bigger. Before technology, people had no idea of what other places looked like unless they went there. Now, with the click of a button I can see what Russia looks like, or Antarctica, or Thailand, and so on. As a future teacher I am learning how to navigate this changing world, and how I can help my students to do the same.

(image from Elearning Blogspot)


One thought on “The World is Shrinking

  1. I thought it was fascinating how said, “the world is shrinking.” In someways I feel the same way. We are now able to connect with anyone in the world, yet we have lost communication in a way. Even in classrooms there is less oral communication because students are responding to questions on a ipod or computer. I do think it is important for educators to be teaching their students with the most current technology, but sometimes I feel they need to have a simple lesson with a pencil and a piece of paper.
    It is true that students do not even know how to use a dictionary properly because they have all had their smart phones for so long they just google a word and get the correct spelling and definition. That blows my mind. Old school vocabulary lessons are thing of the past. High school students are expected to graduate from high school having the basic knowledge of all technology. Educators need to do their part and make sure students are given the right tools to be successful in life.


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