Guest IAE Blog Post
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (Arthur C. Clarke; British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist; 1917-2008.)
This is Part 1 of a two-part IAE Blog. Part 2 explores some of the educational implications of the coming technological singularity. It is available at http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog/entry/education-for-the-coming-technological-singularity.html.
The title of this IAE Blog entry is motivated by the following article:
Kamenetz, A. (11/8/2014). 5 Great Teachers On What Makes A Great Teacher. nprEd. Retrieved 11/13/2014 from http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/11/08/360426108/five-great-teachers-on-what-makes-a-great-teacher.
Here is a 1997 quote from Peter Drucker, one of the leading gurus of business management during the past half century:
Thirty years from now the big university campuses will be relics. Universities won't survive. It's as large a change as when we first got the printed book. Do you realize that the cost of higher education has risen as fast as the cost of health care?
If you are a fan of the science fiction Star Trek series, then you are familiar with the Holodeck. It is a virtual reality in which Star Trek characters can interact with virtual people and environments. A person in the Holodeck “room” can move around, interacting with the environment, and talking and interacting with the virtual and “real” people in the room. For example, in one Star Trek episode set nearly 300 years in the future, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Steven Hawking join the Star Trek character Lt. Commander Data in a bridge game. The computer-generated Newton, Einstein, and Hawking appear to be just as “real” as if they were alive 300 years in the future.
Today’s computer games in which a player can be represented by an Avatar and interacts with computer-generated characters is a step toward a Holodeck. Computer simulations, such as those used to help train airplane and spaceship pilots, provide excellent examples of current applications of virtual reality in education.