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A Liftime of Change

Anyone who started working in the 60’s and 70’s never thought that their lives would be impacted by technology in a never ending pace. Fax machines, personal computers, internet for all, the first mobile phones, mp3, widescreen color tv, flat screens, digital photography and video, car computers, GPS, YouTube, Yahoo, Google, smartphones, AR, VR, AI and so on. I’m sure you can name a lot more fantastic innovations you encountered in your life that made a change. At first these innovations came gradually and the impact on the daily job wasn’t transforming the way whole companies were organized.

That all changed from the year 2000 on.

You know what I’m talking about. Since then the main question was “What is the next big thing?” And ‘that’ came in herds and some of these ‘big things’ became very powerful. Others didn’t make it.

My grandson, Charle, who was born in 2015 will see a lifetime of change. On personal level and especially in his professional career. Big data, analytics and companies in constant transformation will cross his path. By the time he’s 35 he’ll have had 5 jobs or more. Society known as the post PC era will evolve fast but he’ll be used to it. He’s a digital native.

We are living in exponential times.

As an example I take Google. When the company was founded in September 1998, it was serving ten thousand search queries per day. Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average. This jaw dropping evolution is not a stand alone phenomenon. I can’t help wondering to whom these ‘questions’ were asked before the Google era. 
Google searches per day (2018): more than 63,000 search queries per second as you’re reading this.

Google exponential evolution

My biggest concern is my grandson’s education. Even today, it is still mostly organized for the industrial mindset of the 1900’s. It seems it didn’t evolve together with the rest of the world. I know, that’s a severe observation and some of my readers will raise the eyebrows. Can it keep up with the transformations that happen outside the school? In Flanders we see ICT in classrooms, highly successful and very popular exercise platforms ‘bingel‘, ‘diddit‘ and differentiation on a high level but technology facilitates the teacher’s work not elevating education as such. It’s a phase education must go through to reach the higher goals. 

The next level is true personalized learning.

Education should prepare students for jobs that don’t exist today, using technologies that haven’t been invented yet in order to solve problems that we don’t even know are problems yet’ (Karl Fisch).

It makes you think, doesn’t it. To stress this even more the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. Yes, teachers will also have to embrace a lifetime of change and engage in true personalized learning with a new approach of ‘the school‘.

If you’re inspired by my blog post, watch the movie below, get up and become an ambassador of a lifetime of change. Teach.

Karel Overlaet