Ray Kurzweil has a special place in our hearts because of his progressive thoughts on the future and how technology is becoming more integrated into our lives – even at a biological level. Barry directed and produced an excellent documentary about Kurzweil entitled: Transcendent Man. Barry points out that the law of accelerating return is upon us in every part of our lives, as devices such as smart phones are getting smaller. While it took the Gutenberg press 100 years to penetrate daily life, the Internet only took about 20 years, and the iPhone and iPad just a few years.
As a result, the notion of an Ivy league education, where information was previously held privately for the few, is now at the world’s fingertips. As the world’s collective knowledge grows increasingly available on demand, the need for wrote memorization and the existing anti-inspirational education system needs a major reboot. The facts are there for the taking, and the need for teaching critical thinking and creative application of knowledge is the key.
One of our favorite break out sessions involved Paulo’s students from the FabLab@SchoolProject. Ten year old kids were downloading plans and custom-programming robotic, remote control cars – entirely from scratch. Paulo points out that it’s difficult to give up centuries of traditional learning because they feel so right, even though we know we are teaching obsolete concepts in obsolete ways. In his FabLab, the mission is always engagement of the young mind, creative application, and discovery—-the tools necessary to generate the results we need for the evolving challenges of the future.