Chris Dixon shared that “in the year 1820, a person could expect to live less than 35 years, 94% of the global population lived in extreme poverty, and less that 20% of the population was literate. Today, human life expectancy is over 70 years, less that 10% of the global population lives in extreme poverty, and over 80% of people are literate. These improvements are due mainly to advances in technology, beginning in the industrial age and continuing today in the information age.” This is a truly amazing quote, one that I think highlights the importance of learning and the role technology can play in this process.
Technology has gone from a toy, to an event, to a commodity, to a way of life. And learning has been attached along the way. Maybe we don’t always see learning and technology hand-in-hand, but the two are deeply connected and fuel each other every day.
Part of the issue of not seeing this connection is by thinking about learning in a “school only” box. But, if you open up your idea of what learning is, where it takes place, who does it, and why it happens—then you’ll notice that every new technology has been spawned by us learning. And we’ve been able to learn more (and a quicker pace) because of the new technologies that have been invented.
This leads me to excitement over what is to come in the next 5, 10, 20 years in terms of technology’s impact on learning (not just in schools).