Well today is the first day of school for many kiddos in Texas. I am sure that for them today brings with it a mix of emotions ranging from fear and dread to anticipatory glee, depending on which grade they are entering, if their friends are in the same class, which teacher they got and how well they perform within the public school system.
Being the last of the Baby Boomer generation, I remember when I heard the words “back to school” and was filled with complete dread and grief over the ending of those summer days where we had no time schedule and swam at the local pool all day, of course going back to school also signaled that the seasons were changing and Halloween was coming.
I remember that a sweater was always an essential part of my new school attire, when I think back, I remember September mornings were a little chilly and according to NOAA’s historical climate data, the average temp in September 1970 was 79°, with the low being 55°. Weather.com states that most of the Southwest and all of Texas has been warming at more than 1°F per decade.
Kids today don’t need sweaters and very few of them need any #2 pencils thanks to technology. I believe that the generations following the Boomers’ are smarter, or definitely could be thanks to Google. Back in the day, the powers that be assessed our knowledge with the annual Achievement Test, where we spent two days answering and filling in bubble tests. Today student achievement data trends show that math and reading scores have increased over the last three decades for kids in the US.
Teachers today have the ability to incorporate global learning on a scale like never before. Paperless classrooms and no textbooks will prepare students for the future and our new technical paradigm; I am still undecided about where these kids will find their inspiration. It could be that in the new world, technology will motivate students to learn, or it could be that students who are not self-motivated will undergo an evolutionary shift, a “survival of the technological fittest”, if you will. Professor Al-Rodhan believes that humanity will experience “Inevitable Transhumanism” where humans will enhance their abilities through the convergence and adoption of a number of emerging technologies and engineer their own evolution.
In “Inevitable Transhumanism? How Emerging Strategic Technologies will affect the Future of Humanity”, Prof. Al-Rodhan postulates that technology will have tremendous potential to impact the future of humanity. That gives a whole new meaning to “No Child Left Behind”.