Newfangled Tech Belief !!!
I am one of those blessed, felicitous, & privileged individuals to have experienced the three major tools of the learning process of the 20th Century, encompassing : ‘Slate & Chalk’; ‘Paper & Pencil’; and ‘PC & Printer’. A mix of traditional and new. Besides, I also had my grey matter baptized with a decent dose of Socrates’s Catechism in a modified glorification of “Questions & Answers” accending the thought process by the all-conscientious teachers of my time without having to hide my lights under the bushel – itself an innovative feature of Education of our times. The teachers knew their ropes too well; I also had my basics jell. I had to go through fire and water; My endurance was put to the litmus test. My joie de vivre prospered every time the teacher praised me. That was education at its best for me.
In retrospect, I also note with pride two distinctive aspects of education then and now : (a) that Educational Technology enables the breadth & depth of knowledge to grow quicker and faster; (b) that it also leaves its imprint firmly so as to change the rules of the game at work, leisure and the like. Educational technology enabling knowledge in schools and colleges today is all too well known and needs no further elaboration.
In respect of (b) I find the striking changes challenging or transforming the up till now strongly held tenets with such ease that if anyone were to say this a few decades ago he would have been derided and dismissed as wacky or mattoid. It does, however, stare in front of our face(s) with such refulgent glow that we have no choice but to embrace it wholeheartedly.
Two incidents flash through my mind reinforcing this view.
First, vividly remembering and recollecting my speech on ‘Futurology – Stellar Role of Tech’ to a gathering of Industry Executives back in the 80s I made the bold prognostication that in future we will be fabricating/assembling not just material parts and products but also Human Organs (tracing the pace of technology). All the executives broke into a cacophonous guffaw and looked at me with total disbelief. Believe me ! Those were the days when CAD/CAM was making transformational inroads into Industrial Design with accelerated momentum and many in the gathering were aware of it. Further discussion(s) citing neoteric trends and possibilities in evolution to add substance to it could not dispel the cloud of mist that enveloped their minds. Today the reality strikes before us in no uncertain terms. Small companies like 3D Systems; Stratasys; Organova Holdings; ExOne and a few others making it happen could possibly make the same gathering eat boiled crow today. I remain vindicated. Let me, with all humility, add that these are just early days; many of these future giants are fledglings now; and most of all it has not brought grist to the mill yet; the potential, however, remains untapped though.
Second, just a week later in my next speech on ‘Futurology – Stellar Role of Telecom’ to an audience of Industry Executives I pronounced that ” a gadget in the palm of our hands” will be a fitting substitute to not just our ills and travails of Communication, but to our entire “Intellectual, Financial, & Social Endeavors”. A repeat of the same scenario with a ‘loud guffaw’ spontaneously this time too. I tried to get a handle on the situation with the remark that a paradigm change in Communication was brought forth by the DynaTAC of Motorola in 1973 (many in the gathering knew it) even while tracing the extremely slow and tepid growth till the late 80s and maintaining my ground that faster, smaller and robust devices will be the future. It has become a reality now and fortunately I didn’t have to eat my words. On the contrary it is now obviously a kenspeckle vaticination . WE now have to think of a world of 5 to 7 billion Smartphones each with the ability to ride all the sectors of Human activities. I remain vindicated.
Embracing tech is not new. Different analysts at different times and in different ways have harped on this before I did and after I did. It was then my intent to emphasize the process of improvement and adaptability in response to these, be it in Education, Health, Energy, Environment, Agriculture, Sports, Entertainment, Informatics or any other.. Ultimately it boils down to devising actionable strategies; fine tune the process of implementation; and execute the actual implementation itself .
The crux of Tech belief lies in its “adaptability characteristics” of individuals to the new ways of work and practices brought forth with it – I averred.
“The best use of TECH lies in trampling the bad ones under our feet, and make it supply LIGHT and not HEAT.” – was my sockdologer in the end.