The ITGS or Information technology in a global society course looks at the technology and the impacts of the technologies on a global society. Where as the Unit standards based course is more practical and hands on with less linkage and cohesion between topics (each is discrete). In the unit standards based course I teach the students the following:
- Programming – web and VB.Net Express
- Video and audio production
- Personal computer use and management
- Use of computers in an organisation
But where to min the future. What do I need to teach my students. Here are some thoughts….
The availability of computers will be vastly increased, will we have “got rid of paper”, probably not but each student should have their own personal digital device that they will be able to opt to use. Applications like MS Office and alike will be limited as most will delivered via the web, and accordingly internet connectivity and “Broadband” speeds will reflect this. Students will all have their own spaces and because they are doing this themselves will have a high degree of competency in social web publishing. Enabled by better web access speeds, online applications, available media resources online to remix, low cost cameras and increased personal publishing the students will good skills in manipulating media and publishing video.
Multiple input sources will also become the norm.
- stylus and handwriting
- Multi touch manipulation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DasPNFrP24 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0h_OO4Gz28c
I will not need to teach the basics of computing, word processing etc as the students will use this tools in a standard day to day basis. Nor will I need to teach the basics of multimedia manipulation.
Since ALL the students will have personal web spaces, and these will use intuitive WYSIWYG editors, teaching of HTML will be redundant.
So what will I teach, what will the students need to know to be the ICT developers of the future?
- Databases and Mash up. (What are mash ups? – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9sENSA_sjI)The next decade will be all about information and we will need to provide the students with the skills to manipulate the data. Information literacy, will will focus on sifting and sort the information, but for the students of technology they need to know about mashing and manipulating it – http://mashmaker.intel.com/ & http://www.orch8.net/ . We will need to teach about databases and the theory behind these. This isn’t going to change radically – constructing them will be simpler and entry easier but the basics are going to remain the same. Where we teach HTML now as a tool for structuring online publishing will bwe be teaching XML and databases in the future?
- Programming. Again, I suspect that programming will become easier for the masses, as the interfaces and tools become more intuitive, but, But! there will remain a need for teaching students to program, about teaching how to plan, design, structure and construct software and as importantly to test and refine the product.
- Media – while multimedia will be out there for the masses, I suspect that there will be a need still to teach about MULTI media – by this I mean the integration of multiple types of media into one product. The ability to program intelligence, flexibility and malleability into our products. The mass will produce and remix media from their, public and copy written sources, but for the students of computer studies it will be tying and melding together video, text, audio and data streams. I wonder if flexible virtual actors or avatars will be available to present the content.
- Robotics – I love my Lego (as an aside check this out http://brickfilmsfestivalen.se/). I use my NXT’s and RCX’s to teach a huge range of things – problem solving, Object orientated programming and obviously robotics. We already have an increasing number of robots in the home, this will only increase. So logically we should also be teaching and learning about robots, robotics and AI. Look at this Lego Rubber band gun - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgiUSEpg8Xc&mode=related&search= or The Lego Knitting machine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MV19wqtfyF0&NR=1 or Lego Production line – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3AcPEPbH0
- Design – The freedom to produce material does not equal high quality product. In fact the opposite is true. We are constantly aware of the range of quality in how information is presented, so much of it is so poor. Currently I teach DTP – desktop publishing and web publishing. Large aspects of this are the principles of design. This will not change, I may not be teaching Desktop Publishing in a paper based format, but I will be teaching Desktop Publishing for other formats or media. The students of tommorow will still need to be able to understand the basic rules, independent of the format or media.
- Suitable for the audience
- Suitable for the purpose
- The basics of design -
- Use of colour
- Use of Text, imagery, audio and video
So what have I missed? What will we need to teach in 10 years time to equip and prepare our computer experts of the future?