The Future of Education

TOPIC: The future of personalized education using technology

TESA: Technology/Entrepreneurship/Society/Arts

FINDING: Education systems need to adapt to be technology driven in order that the next generation

be equipped with a skill set required to be successful in the global economy. Currently young adults

exiting University do not feel prepared to work with technology unless they have specifically trained to be

in a technological field. Education system’s need to change their approach to encourage creative thinking

within a technological framework.

IMPLICATIONS: Although most people realize the importance of the use of technology in the

classroom, not many have taken their thinking to the level of Zhao, Khan or Thrun, where education

can be, should be, central in the delivery of education. These three leaders in education have been

developing ways to make this possible. Education is one of the largest social constructs that exists.

Changing the way education is delivered, from assembly line, compliance driven, somewhat local

expression to a personalized education taking into consideration skill levels, personalities, IQ’s, areas

of passion in relationship to the global community has the potential to change not just education, but

government and company management to our personal lives. This would change the role of the teacher

and could possibly lead to their current role becoming obsolete.


Zhao – “Common Core standards — and tests used to measure whether students have met them — fail to capture the problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills needed for success in a global economy.”

Thrun – “Will we invest $100 million into a class the same way today we invest $100 million into a great movie? What would that do for the quality of education? A lot of people are arguing that the future will be somewhere in the flipped space, where you combine human services and classroom experiences with digital materials. Is that the true answer, or is there a way to deliver everything online? I think the question is still open. The biggest challenge that we face is to fully build this new medium to its potential.”

Khan – “Would either of you hire somebody whose education came solely from online classes or MOOCs?

SK: If you’re talking about the skills that we’re hiring for, the stuff that’s typically learned in college or graduate school, then absolutely. In fact, we already have. We recently hired two people and we didn’t even know what their degrees were, if they even had degrees. We hired them because of the work they did on the computer science platform on Khan Academy.”



Quick Thinking Flying Robot

TOPIC: Really small, flying robot that can make quick decisions.

Technology, Entrepreneurship, Society, Arts

FINDING: “Dutch scientists have developed the world’s smallest autonomous flapping drone, a dragonfly-like beast with 3-D vision that could revolutionise our experience of everything from pop concerts to farming.”

IMPLICATIONS: This technology has been developing for years but never before has it been this small or this smart. A “bug” that can fly around, potentially unnoticed, “seeing” what we see and recording data; a bug that can go into places where “radio control would be impossible”. It sounds like something from the movie Mission Impossible.

flying robot
flying robot

Beyond some of the less complex uses of this technology, such as spotting ripe fruit in a greenhouse or dressed up as Tinkerbell at Disneyland, it could be used to “spy” on people, record conversations and video record events happening behind closed doors where conventional (and legal by today’s standard) methods would be impossible.

This could have a serious influence on the laws surrounding the collection of evidence and it’s admissibility in court, among other areas. The DelFly could be the future undercover police officer, replacing the need to put people in harm’s way. As crimes become more complex, our laws and ways of enforcing them will need to also change in order to remain effective. The DelFly could be a useful tool in this way.


“The Explorer has its own small lithium polymer battery that allows it to fly for around nine minutes, while it “sees” with its onboard processor and a specially-developed algorithm to make instant decisions.”

“Over the next few years, research continued and the machine became smaller and smaller, said Sjoerd Tijmons, 28, who helped write the algorithm for the latest DelFly Explorer’s “brain”.”

“But De Croon admits that humans are not quite able to produce swarms of autonomous robotic insects the size of bees or flies, mainly because of restrictions on battery life.”


Connected Cars in the EU by 2015

TOPIC: New connected car standards putting Europe back into the “digital fast lane”.

Technology, Entrepreneurship, Society, Arts

FINDING: EU establishes Communications Standards as a step towards making European Connected Cars a reality as soon as 2015.

IMPLICATIONS: The idea of my car communicating with the transportation infrastructure by a projection on my windscreen is amazing. Just last week there was a 100 car pileup on our main highway in Barrie just outside of Toronto, and hundreds more were simply stuck waiting for the firefighters to cut the metal median allowing them to turn around. Many of them could have been diverted long before had something like “connected cars” been in place.

Beyond the potential of increased safety, convenience factors and environmental benefits, the incredible amount of collaboration that is involved in connecting multiple countries, through varying networks, different vehicle makes and models, (among other sociopolitical differences) is an remarkable feat in and of itself.

Connected Car
Connected Car

As we discovered during the recent economic crisis, the global economy is far more connected than we realized as we live our everyday lives. We learned how the actions of some can have an enormous impact on us all. Connected Car Standards, I think, are a very positive step towards a future where our global connections will continue to grow. Might this development be a precursor of a future single global currency and perhaps even of a global minimum standard of living?


“Imagine that you are driving along, and a message is projected on your windscreen, warning you of an accident that has just happened around the next corner. This could soon be a reality thanks to new European standards. Connected cars, able to communicate with each other and with road infrastructures, are expected to appear on European roads in 2015.”

“With this set of standards ready, connected cars are on the right track. Direct communication between vehicles and infrastructures will ensure safer and more efficient traffic flows, with great benefits for drivers & pedestrians, our environment and our economy. This shows Europe’s unique digital advantage. But for connected cars to really work, we also need more consistency in rules that underpin fast broadband networks. Our fragmented spectrum policy puts the brakes on our economy – now it’s time to get our connected continent up to cruising speed”

“Work on the Release 2 standardisation package has already begun to fine tune existing standards and deal with more complex use cases. European organisations cooperate closely with American and Japanese organisations to ensure that the systems are compatible across the globe.”