WorldWideFuture Weblog

the future of education, politics, science and art

On occasion of my birthday

Once past the big 5-0, birthdays aren’t very special, though I guess this one is. Six months ago I had an angioplasty to fix a blockage in my artery, saving me from falling to the ground permanently. It took me only a very short while in the recovery room to realize it was me, not someone else you always hear about. This sobering realization gave me the perfect opportunity to change my lifestyle…better diet, exercise, and learn about the balance of life, work and interests.

The interesting part of all this is that I experienced a part of the medical system that really works. In an era of scarce medical professionals and a system trying to learn how to cope with technological change, an aging population and re-fitting business models, the wonderful folks at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) shows how it works. They are the perfect example of the professional learning community, an example of how education might work too. When you have a heart operation, you are invited to the Rehab Clinic and have the expertise of several professionals at your beck and call. They have you and your history recorded online on their intranet, so when you see one of the professionals, they are totally up-to-date on your situation and build on what the others are doing with you.

Now imagine if we did this with students? Knowing the educational history and situation of each student while you are working with them is a long way from just blindly giving them content and hoping for the best.

In the future, a teacher will be able to call up the details of every student to better understand how to teach them individually to accomplish their goals. Education must realize that though there might be a common goal (educate students) each student has their own learning styles, needs and goals (really? duh!) (They have a name for this, though I am loath to use it as it seems painfully obvious that this is what you do: differentiated instruction)

A wired teacher is a professional teacher
-Michael Scott 2008

June 29, 2008 Posted by | education | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intersecting interests: Politics, Education, Science, Technology and Art

Here it is, the beginning. My name is Michael Alexander Scott and I am an educational consultant by trade and a photographer by avocation. My areas of expertise are technology and business education and apprenticeship training. I have industry experience in computer data acquisition, photography and branding, and have worked everywhere from factories to wind tunnels to orthopaedic research to space hardware testing before getting into the teaching biz .

Why this blog, why now? I am concerned about the future. We live in a technological world yet we are saddled for the most part with an Industrial Age education system. We live in an era of disruptive technological change but we are held back by an antiquated political and social system.

Without the requisite education in technological and business matters, this generation of students are going to have great difficulty in coming to grips with Toffler’sfuture crashing into the present“. We are at a point where “if students are not trained to learn, then we are creating performing seals in a circus that’s about to be demolished.” (Dr. Bill Law, School to Work Conference, Toronto 2000)

So here we are, a blog about the world wide future. I hope to expose the misconceptions of what the role of education is, and the errors of scientific and technological discourse that is foisted upon the public by our politicians and our media. I hope to connect you, the reader, with centers of thought that should be considered when examining our future and where we should be headed. Maybe lofty, eh? Like any blog, it is all about opinions (and they won’t reflect those of my employer or government!)

I hope you enjoy, let me know what you think, and pass it on.

My web presence:

Michael Alexander Scott,
Ottawa Ontario Canada

The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn.
– Alvin Toffler

June 27, 2008 Posted by | education | , , , , , | Leave a comment