Next Billionth, and the Next

It’s the day after Christmas, and time to set forth toward a new year in an incredibly exciting time. I must finish up my 2005 reflective blog, trying to make sure that I don’t leave anyone out in my list of those many souls who helped me to grow this year (just thought of two more). I also have to sit down and do my 50th episode of Connect Learning, a program about the future of education.

But today, I am considering my December 24 entry, One Billionth Internet User. It was a brief report on Jakob Nielsens piece on 2005 being the year that the first billion people reached the Internet — now 36 years old. He also states that the second billion will come online during the next 10 years. But, and I left this part out, the third billion will be much harder.

However, does this prediction assume the current degree of technological advancement. I’ve asked this question many times, but it is important to keep asking it. “Would you have accepted the truth about classroom of 2005, if it had been suggested to you in 1995, that in the next ten years, most classrooms in the U.S. would have more than one multimedia computer connected to a global digital library of billions of pages of information, not to mention sound, images, video, and animation?” Things have changed far faster than we could have imagined, and it seems that our imaginations just barely limit what might happen between now and 2015.

So what might be the next Internet, the next Web, the next mobile phone, microwave, GPS…? What’s going to be the next killer app? What might happen that will bring a world online and talking — in a time when talking is what we need most of all? An interesting start of the new year blog assignment for your students, the folks who will be inventing the future.

2¢ Worth!

Author: David Warlick

David Warlick 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.