Taming the Information Beast: A vision for the future.

The folks at the ICE (Interactive Content Exchange) Conference recently laid out the challenge to bloggers to define their vision of the future in Canada. I’ve got a few spare minutes so I thought I’d take them up on it.

Where my vision starts is today. Today’s youngest citizens will be the first generation to grow up in an age of ubiquitous information and, to be horribly cliché, they are the future.

Information as a utility.

You want water?
Turn on the tap.

Light?
Turn on the switch.

Information?
Turn on the computer.

In just a few generations we’ve moved from a world where information trickled like a small stream to a place where there is a constant, unending & surging river of information. The notion of needing to have general information in your head is quickly becoming obsolete.

This change has many, many effects in many areas of our lives, but perhaps none more important than around our approach to education.

The information is now there, at our finger tips, anytime.

Students no longer need someone to stand at the front of the room and tell them the answer. What they need is someone to ask us the question, then help them learn how to find the answer.

In my future…

… the teacher has to become the Guide, not the Oracle.

What students need are people who will help them learn to learn, digest, think critically, and ultimately synthesize the information they will consume every day of their lives. The “what” of education is still very important but it should be presented to students in the form of discovery. How they discover and then learn the answer will shape their ability to succeed in the future.

… Innovation will be found in synthesis

In my future the best ideas will come from those people who can float on top of the river of information. These leaders will be able to take in all of the data around them, rapidly digest, synthesize, and finally remodel and deploy it to innovate.

… “We’ve always done it that way” will be the starting point, not the end.

Enterprises will become more agile as iteration and experimentation become the default behaviour. The future generation will treat the past as a place to begin not a place to stop. They won’t be afraid to ask “Why?” and won’t accept “Because…” for an answer.

Learning how to tame and manage information is the biggest challenge we’re facing. If we can ensure our future generations are properly equipped then the future looks good for all of us.

Attributions
Tap – Malla Mi | Light – Vnoel | Rapids – bcostin | Iteration – jremsikjr
| Map – Webber0075

  • Peter

    nice post !!

    we should be a light and not a guide !!

  • michele

    great post ryan!

  • webber0075

    Please credit photos if you use other people’s work. Thanks,

    webber0075

  • Ryan

    Webber: Your picture has always been credited in the Attributions section at the end of the post.