Now, notes Craig Mundie, one of Microsoft’s top technologists, not just elites, but virtually everyone everywhere has, or will have soon, access to a hand-held computer/cellphone, which can be activated by voice or touch, connected via the cloud to infinite applications and storage, so they can work, invent, entertain, collaborate and learn for less money than ever before. Alas, though, every boss now also has cheaper, easier, faster access to more above-average software, automation, robotics, cheap labor and cheap genius than ever before. That means the old average is over. Everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value better than the new alternatives.
Are those last two sentences applicable to institutions as well? Friedman answers:
When the world gets this hyperconnected, adds Mundie, the speed with which every job and industry changes also goes into hypermode.
It’s no secret that teaching and learning has already changed in the really good and great schools, but there are still many where teaching follows the industry model of the foreman and workers – one’s in charge and the others simply follow. Friedman concludes by paraphrasing Alvin Toffler, and that passion and curiosity will be the bigger differentiators in the future economy than simply intellect or access. For those of us in education, this only reinforces the need for a passion-driven curriculum that ignites the spark in children and empowers them to take greater risks and learn not facts but investigate and explore possible solutions to real world problems. To do so, teachers have to step down from their perch as experts and simulate real world experiences, rather than teach a textbook-based and fact-driven curricula.