Saturday, December 18, 2010

Module 8 - The future

I think the module 8 readings were a bit lost on me. In part, because we have been scrambling to deal with the impact of the snow and the school closures.

The other difficulty I have with the future is that it is slippery, diffuse, and difficult to measure. As the Pew report said "Innovation will continue to catch us by surprise". I am old enough to remember when the Berlin Wall came down, and the feeling then that anything was possible. With so many impossibilities lined up to disappear, it is hard to know the context of where one stands. When you are surrounded by walls, you know where you are. When the walls are gone, how do you know where you stand?

I have spent my whole life immersed in computer technology. This next arcane and pedantic statement still underscores my experience: my cell phone has a faster, more powerful processor, better software, more communication capability and is easier to use than the rooms full of equipment which I thought I would spend my career learning to tame. And not by a little bit .. it is thousands of times faster. It is hard to maintain my perspective on all of the years of obsolete work I have accomplished!

I have learned to teach in a room where, if I can't remember something, or an interesting topic comes up, I say, somebody research that and let us know. Within minutes, we have an update from someone in the room. My teachers never did that .. they were the authority.

So, this course has been a good step for me. It helped me to see some of the walls I had created around myself, quite unconsciously, probably designed to make me feel comfortable in this every changing world. The course has allowed me to knock down some of these walls, or at least push them out far enough to give me a new lease on my career and life.

Thanks to my professor, and to my fellow students, from whom I learned a great deal!

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