Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Horizon Report 2009 - My Impressions

This is the 5th Horizon Report – Amazing!

One thing that strikes me, first and foremost, is the very recent inception of this fine idea. It’s hard to believe considering that the impact of the internet on every day life started on its land scorching momentum in the mid 1990’s. We did a pretty good job opening our “Horizons” (pun intended) by creating such a think tank, as early on as we did in the process.

For those who are interested, I found a great resource outlining the anecdotal history of the people and communities involved with the communication tool of the century. Wait, make that the millennium:
Brief History of the Internet

It’s clear that educational resources, beginning with much needed funds, have generally not been abundantly available and forthcoming. This is, as far as I know, still the case. Post baby-boomer generations have swiftly embraced technology to the point where the landscape of youth entertainment has completely morphed and been turned up on its head.

Long gone are the days of Dungeons and Dragons played on UNIX, blindly, as we drew the outlines of some obscure maze, in search of some unknown treasure. I even remember beating the original Mario game, on a black and white Gameboy back in the mid 1990s! *giggles*

Equally amusing is to note that online games such as World of War craft, Wii stations, Play stations and the like captured the newer generations much quicker than the educational system would ever be able to catch up to, in order to dispense techno-educational contents on topics related to current research and development.

As this 2009 report says: “Students are different, but a lot of educational material is not.” This is an understatement. Perhaps this is due to the formation of our educators as well. I don’t recall of a voc-rehab program for educators. Do you?

DCS3 cohort was privy to be comprised of advanced technical expertise directly associated with educational institutions. It offered a unique perspective on what is still missing today: a very short supply of especially trained rookies. You’ll find a co-authored paper related to this very topic here,
Wanted: Trained Security Specialist which highlights only one area in dire need of human resources.

Interestingly, cloud computing is helping with the traditional hurtles associated with trying to provide better and more appropriate training. That’s a topic I’d like to cover under a separate post. Certainly, Dr. Calongne has made it her mission to help facilitate such media.

Lastly, although this report addresses the needs of today for the demands of tomorrow, I’m left with a very important question unanswered. What are we doing to educate those who raised us? With an aging population, I’m interested to know what we are doing to help a generation that has given so much. How will they learn to leverage tools that could ultimately make their golden years much less lonely?

I can’t help but worry about that every time my aging parents make a support call to my 24/7 service desk.

Graphics from Qatar Foundation.

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