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.”



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.”


Robot Magic

 TOPIC: Self-Assembling Robot

TESA: Technology/Entrepreneurship/Society/Arts

FINDING: Small cube shaped robots — called M blocks — that can assemble themselves will get smaller and may become autonomous


Imagine coming home and entering an apparently empty room. You walk to the window and begin to sit down.  Tiny robots immediately begin to assemble themselves into a chair the rises to meet you as you sit.

It will seem like magic,  but it’s just 21st century technology at work.  The applications for this kind of technology are immense. Imagine an earthquake damaged building or a bridge about to collapse. Call in the swarm of M blocks and watch them solve how to support the structures and spare human life.

Could we also see swarms of insect like things taking over the planet?  Come on. That couldn’t happen.

Welcome to the future.


“In the future we envision … the modules …completely autonomously, in a distributed fashion, deciding how, when, and where to move… so we want to take a large group of cubes and tell them, “form this shape” …and have the cubes decide on their own how to accomplish that task.”


MIT News Office

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Are You Shark Proof?


Topic: Shark Proof Wet Suit

TESA: Technology/Entrepreneurship/Society/Arts

Finding: Developed in Australia, new wet suit makes surfers and swimmers invisible (or repellent) to sharks.

Implications: Will this technology create a new tourist industry for those of us who would like to see these animals in the wild? Will other technologies follow that will help humans become invisible or undesirable to other predators in the wild? How about, for example, a suit that makes us invisible to bears? How will this combine with something like the Costa Rican initiative to close down their Zoos and return their animals to the wild? Will we enter a new era in which the whole of the natural world is a relatively safer nature park for humans?


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