Welcome to 2024

in a sense, this presentation was a follow-up of a short story I wrote as a first chapter of a book I wrote in 2004, describing a middle school in 2014.

I’ve never had so much fun doing a presentation — that I had never done before. The fact that the 2024 version of myself had traveled more than 87,000 timezones to get to the NCTIES conference, and the jet lag that implied, took a lot of the pressure off.

The scenario went like this. My wife, children and granddaughter chipped in to buy my a trip back to 2014, to visit an old education technology conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. I walked into the session dressed as the eccentrically old geezer I am certain to become, limping with a cane, because of a self-defense class injury. I am toting my granddaughter’s book bag, which we will excavate to reveal clues as to what education becomes ten years from now.

I did a Q&A, fielding a number of quite interesting questions, for which the trickier ones, I was able to hide behind the FCC Commission on Cross-Temporal Communications Act of 2022, paragraph 14.

I was also honored to find Adam Bellow in the Audience and convinced him to take a selfie of us together, which I could pick up later from the Twitter archive, housed at archive.org.

 

My only regret was having left my notes back in 2024, so there was much that I forgot to include, such as, “If you want to party like it 2024, then you’ve gotta wear argyle socks.” You can write that down.

At first I was a little relieved that ISTE turned that presentation proposal down. Now I wish they’d accepted it. :-/

 

Education 2014, As Seen in 2004

Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century, by David Warlick

In 2004, Linworth Publishing Company released Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century.  They had come to me more than a year earlier to write a book about technology for educators, and, being so flattered, I agreed.  However, as I commenced researching and planning the book, I came to realize that it was not technology that was impacting the work of educators nearly so much as the changing nature of information.  What we read was changing in..

  • What it looked like,
  • What we looked at to view it,
  • How we found it,
  • Where we went to find it,
  • What we could do with it and
  • How we communicated it.

Discussing this with my editor, Donna Miller, we concluded that what was needed more than a book about technology, was a book about literacy, and how our notions of literacy are affected by an increasingly digital, networked and information abundant (overwhelming) world.

To set the stage my first chapter was a story, set in a middle school in 2014.  It was perhaps more of a thought experiment for me, imagining the technologies that would almost certainly be available in schools in 10 years and then learning how they might be applied, by telling a story about the school’s students, teachers and community.

Here is the story’s introduction.

This first chapter is a work of future fiction. I do not call it science fiction, because I have every reason to expect that schools can change this much, and that it could happen during my career. If they do not, it will not be because the technology is not available, but because we did not have the courage or vision to make such dramatic changes in the way that we prepare our students for their future.

Some of what you read in this short story will seem unbelievable. However, if you are aware of the advances in computers and networking over the past ten years, it will not be the technology that surprises you. It will more likely be what learners and educators do while they are engaged in teaching and learning. So let us remove the veil of our own industrial age upbringing for just a few minutes and see one possibility. Welcome to The Bacon School, 2014.1

Continue here.

Copyright © 2004 by Linworth Publishing, Inc.

My next few blog entries will be a serialized version of that story.  I want to thank Marlene Woo-Lun for helping me to get permission from ABC-CLIO to republish this chapter and also for helping in the second edition of this literacy book, Redefining Literacy: 2.0, published in 2008.

Warlick, D. (2004). Redefining literacy for the 21st century. (p. 1). Columbus, OH: Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Inside the International Space Station

To go up into space and live for a period of time is the dream of many children, but one that is reached by few adults. It takes a peak of physical health, a high level of intelligence, and a great deal of training. There are also a great deal of people who meet these […]

life-on-the-international-space-station_52af966d06edaTo go up into space and live for a period of time is the dream of many children, but one that is reached by few adults. It takes a peak of physical health, a high level of intelligence, and a great deal of training. There are also a great deal of people who meet these criteria, and so they then must go through a stringent weeding out process, following by intense training.

Once one reaches the space station, it is a tight fit with little human contact. Thanks to modern technology, the astronauts are able to communicate with their colleagues, and maybe even family back on Earth. But even modern technology cannot give these astronauts a gourmet meal, a luxurious bed, or an overly pleasant experience. These men and women are there to work, and work during the majority of their waking hours.

But the space program does now have an education program for grade schools. It allows schools to submit experiments to be performed in space, which the astronauts will record and discuss in a short segment. Do your students have any experiments they want to happen in space?

Blog: http://visual.ly/life-international-space-station

100 Years of Change

Ask your students to imagine the world in 1913. Do they think of fashion, lack of modern technology, impending world crisis? Would any of them chose to go back and live in 1913? Based on this infographic, life was very different 100 years ago. Choose a few of the ways life has changed and ask […]

Ask your students to imagine the world in 1913. Do they think of fashion, lack of modern technology, impending world crisis? Would any of them chose to go back and live in 1913? Based on this infographic, life was very different 100 years ago.

Choose a few of the ways life has changed and ask your students to share how they think it is different. For instance, what is on the list of top five companies today and 100 years ago. What was the average income, and what was the percentage of people with a high school diploma. Do your students think this is better or worse?

Blog: http://visual.ly/100-years-change

The Ten Best Inventions of All Time

The ten best of anything can be a matter of opinion. Before sharing this infographic, have your students brainstorm the five or so best inventions. Then backtrack, and figure out what had to be invented in order for these items to be invented. For instance, in order to use Twitter or Facebook, the internet and […]

10-best-worlds-inventions_523ad32731c66The ten best of anything can be a matter of opinion. Before sharing this infographic, have your students brainstorm the five or so best inventions. Then backtrack, and figure out what had to be invented in order for these items to be invented. For instance, in order to use Twitter or Facebook, the internet and the computer had to be invented. This was preceded by the typewriter and the printing press, which were preceded by paper and ink. We have come a long way since carving the ten commandments in stone.

Discuss who invented these and what kind of recognition they received. Had this person not lived, would have have been invented? For instance, the Wright brothers weren’t the only men working on flight, if they hadn’t flown, someone else would have developed the technology. What did others think of the men who created these? Can you imagine living your life by candle light, and hearing about a man trying to create light without fire? Witchcraft!

Blog: http://visual.ly/worlds-ten-best-inventions-all-times

Premium Telescope Technology

Here’s a neat video that shows of the functionality of a Large Binocular Telescope. It uses twin sets of multiple mirrors that bounce images back and forth until they have a clear picture of what they’re looking at. This really seems to …

Premium Telescope Technology

Here’s a neat video that shows of the functionality of a Large Binocular Telescope. It uses twin sets of multiple mirrors that bounce images back and forth until they have a clear picture of what they’re looking at. This really seems to be the next step in telescope technology.

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Curiosity: Seven Minutes of Terror

Now I don’t know if this title is alluding to the fact that the men and women on the ground were terrified the Curiosity would not land properly, or the feelings of the Curiosity itself or those aboard, had there been people aboard, but regardless, the descent of the Curiosity was quite terrifying, as this […]

Now I don’t know if this title is alluding to the fact that the men and women on the ground were terrified the Curiosity would not land properly, or the feelings of the Curiosity itself or those aboard, had there been people aboard, but regardless, the descent of the Curiosity was quite terrifying, as this infographic shows.

From approaching at 13,000 mph to the final soft landing, there is a lot of gear required. There are cameras and antenna everywhere to monitor the descent, and signals it will use to know when to expel various equipment. It has a heat shield for entry into the atmosphere which will separate at 370 mph. It has a 100 pound parachute that will be deployed at 900 mph. It even has equipment that will attach to the surface of mars and lower it slowly the rest of the way, and then blown off to detach. There cannot be any chance of damage.

What do we use here on Earth that has this many precautions? What happens when a hair dryer is used for a long time? What happens when we cook something and it burns, filling the air with smoke? How could we use some of this technology to make other things, such as cars safer? Do you believe this is cost effective technology to keep a loved one safe?

Blog: http://visual.ly/curiosity-7-minutes-terror

The funeral of Sir Winston Churchill

Today’s video is not educational so much as it is historic. This simple video shows how the man who led a nation was mourned by his people. But stepping away from the tragedy itself, I like how this video represents a certain window of time. When thousands of years from now people are learning about […]

The funeral of Sir Winston ChurchillToday’s video is not educational so much as it is historic. This simple video shows how the man who led a nation was mourned by his people.

But stepping away from the tragedy itself, I like how this video represents a certain window of time. When thousands of years from now people are learning about how technology developed through the years, videos like this will represent a very unique time period where we have the technology, but just barely.

It makes me think of Michael Jackson’s funeral. Not to say the broadcasters didn’t handle it with as much respect as they could, but the whole thing seems heavy-handed in comparison. You’ve got the 3D news graphics, the little network watermark in the corner, the constant reminder that it was indeed being broadcast live. Once again, I’m not saying it was covered incorrectly, they were just following the standards that have been set for years. But you have to admit, Churchill’s does seem a bit more graceful.

Now this may all just be a matter of perception. People 50 years from now could be looking back at Jackson’s funeral thinking about how quaint it was. I still believe though that this era represented by the Churchill film will be known for producing some of the purest and most genuine representations of history we’ll ever see.

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Top Ten Tips for Attending ISTE 13

This article was first posted on June 17, 2012 for ISTE 12

How to dress at ISTE13
Everyone is posting their dress and packing tips for the coming International Society for Technology Education conference – ISTE13. So I, as a professional conference go’er, thought I would contribute ten more tips for ISTE in Texas.

  1. San Antonio is cold this time of year, so wear heavy clothing. Dress in layers, because conference centers are notoriously hot. You’ll be doing lots of walking so wear boots, big ones, with lots of laces – Unless you’ve brought heals.
  2. You’ll want to take lots of notes, so carry several spiral-bound note books. Also carry pencils — #2s. If you can find them, use white or aluminum grey pencils. They’ll impress the people sitting near you.
  3. In the presentation rooms, be careful not to sit near anyone with a computer or tablet computer. They have almost certainly left their email notification alarm on, and when it goes off, everyone will turn around and look — at you! If someone with a computer sits near you, get up and find a more secluded spot.
  4. If possible, sit on the front row and straighten your legs out as far as possible. This is where the boots come in, because presenters love to navigate obstacle courses while presenting.
  5. The exhibit hall is the reason you came. There’s treasure here. It’s also a great place for play. Pretend you’re invisible. Wearing a dark cap will help. If you can achieve invisibility, then you’ll have the run of the hall. Simply walk into any booth and pick-up all the pens, pencils, letter openers, and soft fuzzy balls you can find, and slip them quietly into your bag–preferably a large brown paper bag. Chocolate is an especially treasured item and worth a return for more. If someone in a booth confronts you, then carefully put the pencil back on the table, look down at the floor and slowly back away.
  6. You’ll see areas in the conference center with comfortable chairs, where people will be milling, talking, and showing each other their computers. Shun these places. The people will try to brainwash you.
  7. If someone approaches you, wanting to talk, then turn invisible. If this doesn’t work, then look very stupid. You’ll need to practice this in front of a mirror. If they persist, then speak gibberish and walk away.
  8. If you hear anyone speak with an English accent, don’t believe anything they say – no matter how intelligent they sound or cute their accent. This goes double for Australians and New Zealanders.
  9. When the day is over, or by 4:00 PM, which ever comes first, flee back to your hotel room. This is the real challenge of conference-going, finding things to do in your hotel room. I like to remove the lids of shampoo bottles and guess their scent. Also, the extra blankets in the closet are expressly provided for the construction of elaborate blanket forts. ..and I hope that you are a fan of “Law and Order.” It will be playing during your entire visit – on at least three channels.
  10. What David really wants you to do is be comfortable, hungry to learn, ready to laugh and willing to cry, tweet your heart out and hashtag with #iste13, take every opportunity to meet someone new, and wear something strange. I like those satin slippers with toes that curl up and a tiny bell on the end.

If I see you at ISTE13, please forgive me if I’ve forgotten your name. I’m way past the need for excuses.

 

Watch thermal tile in action.

This kind of material is a perfect example of our ability to adapt in the name of science. Many people would view the problem of burning up due to high speeds while re-entering the atmosphere as an unsolvable problem. It would seem as if some things just aren’t meant to be or can’t be achieved. […]

Watch thermal tile in actionThis kind of material is a perfect example of our ability to adapt in the name of science. Many people would view the problem of burning up due to high speeds while re-entering the atmosphere as an unsolvable problem. It would seem as if some things just aren’t meant to be or can’t be achieved.

But no, we invented mind-blowing material that absorbs and re-disperses the heat so it can stay structurally intact. This is the kind of thing that a lot of people would categorize as an alien technology if they didn’t know any better.

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