21st Century Schools

Is the Internet our economic savior? It’s part of it, according to President Elect Barack Obama. By making all of our medical records accessible electronically at every doctor’s office and hospital, not only will this save lives, but also billions of dollars each year.

How is it possible that with a few clicks of some buttons I can see pictures of what my friends halfway across the world did earlier that day, examine what exactly the street view of an apartment I found on Craigslist looks like – from 2,000 miles away, all the while getting up to the minute news on global events – and this not already be in place?! Sure this new idea will end up saving a lot of money, but this should have been implemented a LONG time ago. For all of those conspiracy theorists who say that the government is withholding the technology to cure cancer, travel back in time, or pinpoint Osama Bin Laden, shut up. Our government couldn’t figure out a system to save a ton of money by networking our population’s information until 4 years after Facebook did this very same thing. This is exactly why how long a candidate has been in DC is a poor criterion to base judgment.

Also, President Elect Obama points out that the same country that invented the internet, the United States, currently ranks 15th in the world in broadband adoption.

One of the leading commentators on the Internet Age, Don Tapscott, believes that memorization will become a thing of the past thanks to the likes of Wikipedia and Google. With increasing ease of access to these tools, such skills as memorizing subordinate details will become a less effective use of our time. ” It is enough that they know about the Battle of Hastings, without having to memorise that it was in 1066. They can look that up and position it in history with a click on Google,” Tapscott says.

While this theory is unfortunate for me, seeing as I was born on the edge of a generation that did have to memorize such facts, I still agree with his prediction. Unfortunately, until all of the United States is broadband connected, the growing gap in social class education will be intensified. We need as many innovative and creative minds working together as possible. If our upcoming president is true to his word, then that’s change we should all believe in.