Four new realities for this generation

8/26/2013 8:00:00 PM

According to a new book, The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations, and Business by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, there are four big trends of connectivity that education leaders and policymakers fail to see. These are:

1 Quicker rate of change than at any time in history. According to Schmidt and Cohen, “We experience change at a quicker rate than any previous generation, and this change, driven in part by the devices in our own hands, will be more personal and participatory than we can even imagine.” Personalized learning will result from the quicker rate of change.

2 Seamless permeation of technology everywhere. In spite of their efforts to keep devices and technology from their buildings, school leaders are losing this war. As Schmidt and Cohen point out, “In the future, information technology will be everywhere, like electricity. It will be a given, so fully part of our lives that we will struggle to describe life before it to our children.”

3 Attempts to try to contain or restrict connectivity is futile. No matter how institutions try to control access, it will happen anyway.

4 Permeation of connectivity and mobile technologies means power moves away from the few to many. The final big trend described by Schmidt and Cohen involves a power shift. As they point out, “With the spread of connectivity and mobile phones around the world, citizens will have more power than at any time in history, but it will come with costs, particularly to both privacy and security.”

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