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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Ontario Literacy Coalition, Toronto

Last Tuesday, I was the keynote speaker at the Ontario Literacy Coalition. We looked at how the web was transforming learning and education. The coalition specializes in assisting adults in all types of literacy, everything from reading to computer skills. (Photo by szeke, cc Flickr)

I was discussing this same issue with my sister the other day. We were saying how easy it was to look up information and learn something new thanks to the Internet. “In the old days, you really had to be committed to learning something,” she said to me. “You couldn’t just look it up on your phone. You would probably have to go to a library and look it up in a book.” Translation: many of us would have been too lazy to follow up on the spontaneous bursts of curiosity. (Example: The history of applause, something I was motivated to look up after clapping at conference sessions all day.)

This is especially true of regular tasks we take for granted, like planning a vacation.”You have to get a book, and then call each hotel, using the PHONE.” My sister sounds horrified as she contemplates how she would have planned her six month Europe trip the old-fashioned way. I completely agree. I live for Google Maps, Trip Advisor and Kayak.

Despite calling for rain, the weather was spectacular and the city was a vibrant splash of colors. I was sad to leave Toronto. There never seems to be enough time to see all the people I want to see, or enough hours in the day to get everything done. Before I knew it, I was at YYZ reading to head back to Geneva.

By vtveen

Comments: 2

  • Roseanne

    October 20, 2010
    reply

    Hi there ~ I was at your keynote and I thought it was fantastic. You did a wonderful job of making new technology and approaches relevant to an audience of educators. I’m wondering if you’ll be posting your powerpoint presentation on your blog… or at least a list of resources. I wasn’t able to take fast enough notes to catch everything!

    Thanks for an inspiring presentation and I hope you had a good trip back to Geneva.

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