Outstanding presentation (one of the best from
TECEA 2005) by Dr David Thornburg

But Wait, There’s More: Redefining Education in
a Light-Speed World

Dr David
Thornburg

dthornburg@aol.com

Thornburg
Center

Pragmatic
Visionaries

Title of preso from late
night TV ads

this is about getting
our heads around technology

– I live in
eastern Brazil

– picture of cashew fruit
(don’t have this in US)

— the nut grows
outside the fruit

— we are so out of the
box in Brazil, the nuts grow outside the
fruit

this is our goal: to think
outside the box, will assume in this preso we are all
nuts

Thornberg Center celebrates its
25th year this year

– watching education
for a long time

– disagree with those who
say classsroom practice has not changed
much

– graph: y axis: progress, x axis:
time, upward sloping cruve:
pedagogy

Educational technology has
changed a lot faster than pedagogy in this
era

– we used to have classroom practice
ahead technology, now that is not
true

question used to be: given
current classroom practice, how should technology change (this was when
classroom practice was more advanced than
technology)

– computers in the old days
would do decontextualized math real good


we used to think it was good to spend thousands of dollars to ask a child what 3
+ 4

now we are in a new world,
technology is more advanced than pedagogy


given current technology, how should classroom practice
change?

– this is a totally different
question, and it is the question that we will consider
today

Anyone watch the antique road
show

– clip from that
show

– thanks to AT&T wireless for
making that clip available

– our son is
finishing his doctorate at Stanford, he only has a cellular phone (says why
would you want to call a place that I rarely am at instead of
me?)

What antiques do you
have?

– wired
phones

– young people think we’re charming
because we have a technology accent (we still talk about dialing the phone,
buying albums)

– they used to be called
albums because you had several 78 rmp records in an
album

we have lots of antiques,
tragically lots of them are in our
classrooms

“Computers are just so
‘not the point'”

– Tracy Chappell,
Computers in Education, Blah, Blah: Whatever! (this is tongue in
cheek!)

this does accurate reflect
the attitdes of young people

– it is not
about the boxes, it is about how we use
them

Let’s drill into this… on
digital cameras

– digital cameras are not
just replacing film cameras (until very recently, the best digital camera you
could buy didn’t have the resolution of a throwaway $10 film
camera)

— once you eliminate the early
adopters, why are so many of these flying off the
shelf

– in 2003 digital cameras outsold
film cameras

– our speculation:

— people used to just use their film
cameras on special occasions, take pictures, process
them,

how many of us have a camera
that you take photos with, you process your own
film

– distinction between those who take
pictures or make photographs

— if you have
a darkroom: photography is a verb

– when
you take a digital camera, each one is shipped with image editing
software

– it allows all of us to do what
used to take a darkroom to do

– the pent up
demand for that was so high that people were willing to spend up to a factor of
10 more to do that, compared to a film
camera

At Cosco and Walgreens, people
are lined up to tweak and edit their
images

This same thing is true of
other technologies

– this is the
distinction between doing things differently and doing different
things

– we now do things unimaginable a
decade ago (like with digital cameras: we work with images in ways that are new
to the general public)

real payoff
comes when you do things you didn’t do AT ALL before (this is doing DIFFERENT
THINGS, not just DOING THINGS
DIFFERENT)

Educational technology has
moved from an “option” to an expectation


from perspective of young people

for
last 3 years, child to computer ratio in schools has stalled at 4:1 in
US

– at home, it is 2:1 (children in the
home are twice as likely to have a
computer)

we are looking at technologies
that are exploding in the
marketplace

Born to Be Wired Study in
2003, found that the Web is the hub of the lives of children in US, average
weekly hours spent on TV, web,
etc…

Todays’ youth choose form
(this is the data world, not necessarily “information”
world)

– 200+ cable
TV

– 5,500 consumer
magazines

– 10,5000 radio
stations

– 35 million children
websites

– 122,000 newly published books in
the US each year

Dr Lee Poulous, did
research on classroom with multiple video streams, more than 1 projector in the
room, student’s ability to retain information was increased
radically

– do people benefit from 2
screens, let’s consider the Nintendo DS


these are still backordered for many people, they couldn’t produce these fast
enough

this is what young people
want, we can now add on

students
outnumber teachers 28:1, so the marketing of Nintendo is clear why they went
straight to the kids

2 screen device
is befuddling for digital immigrants! (but it was designed for
kids)

IT’S ALL ABOUT
TIME!

real power of broadband access
is: it’s always on

– it is an extension of
you day

– we are now in a network-centric
model of computing, rather than

– down time
should be our choice: not the
technology’s

give credit to
textbooks: if we need to turn to page 36, we don’t have to say “let’s turn to
page 36 and see if that
works”

Speed

the wayback machine

– how many of you your
first printer was teletype machine


picture of modem: that was created with the idea that you periodically hooked
your computer up to a network

how did
we do graphics in teletype age: with
asteriks

Why Bandwidth
matters:

110 baud – text
only

14.4 K – images
(slow)

56K – Audio
stream

Broadband (384K and above) –
Video

Multiple intelligences in the
educational context tells us we can’t
get

Cell phones outnumber wired
phones worldiwde

digital cameras outsell
film cameras

youth spend more time online
than watching TV

– these things all came
true in 2003

78% of America’s teens
have internet access

– over half of all
adults internet users in US (34% of Americans) have broadband
access

— this from Pew
foundatioin

If TV was first screen,
web was 2nd screen, the cell phone is the 3rd
screen

– all of your kids are going to get
phones with cameras

so, given this
reality, how are you working with teachers on
this?

– Got
Ideas?

– what could kids do with their cell
phones and cameras that would make sense
educationally

we need to start
thinking about this

– it is not that this
is coming, it is here!

– it is
subterfuge

New cell phone from Japan
not available yet, color of that light changes based on the emotional message of
the text messages

MY THOUGHT: This is
like “a howler” from JK Rowling’s
world!

Trends we are watching
now:

– anywhere/anytime broadband
access


storewidth

– MPEG-4, the next MP3 in terms
of popularity

– data visiualizatioin /
mining tools

– social computing (blogs and
swams)

Anytime anywhere means right
here, right now!


Aristotle and Kierkegard talked
about concept of place in existential
philosophy

McDonalds now into this
philosophy: has a @ symbol with McDonalds for wifi
active

SBC signed wireless contract
with 6000 McDonalds: do you want bytes with your
bits?

– consider network at McDonalds used
for payroll, inventory ordering, and public
access

– we look at McDonalds as being for
kids

– they wouldn’t do this if there
wasn’t a demand for this

Now some
airplanes have wifi on transatlantic
flights

Toshiba has developed an
ethanol based fuel cell for an airplane


you can put a small bottle of vodka and recharge your fuel cell for 3 more
hours

STOREWIDTH

video is likely to clog your network if you have
kids

– for this reason, you want to think
about large network storage

– a terabyte of
storage (50,000 trees made into books) is $750 today
commercially

– in our basement we now have
about 1.5 terabytes in our basement
network

– so if kids can download these
video clips from local servers, this does not tie up internet
bandwidth

MPEG-4

new video standard starting to show up in handheld
cameras

– for every hour of footage you
take, it takes 1 hour and 15 min to import to the
computer

– with new MPEG-4 system cameras,
it records video straight to a flash memory
card

– 512 MB card, 20 min of
video

– so you can drag and drop your video
right into your video editing application


this is going to create a whole new generation of video editing
students

– resolution of this: 4x the
resolution of American TV

How much
information can you navigate by hand?

– a
megabyte is about a small novel

– a
gigabyte is 1000 books

– terabyte? now I
can’t do that

“All information looks
like noise until you break the code”

Neal
Stephenson, Snow storm

In an exabyte
world, text is the wrong medium for exploring
text

– product called the visual
thesaurus

– will let you explore words in
an amazing way

– you now have a 3
dimensional space that you can use to navigate through
words

– this is an example of doing a
DIFFERENT THING (can’t do this with a printed thesaurus or
dictonary)

– we used to just think of
putting a book on the computer– this visual thesaurus is a different
animal

– we are using richer graphical
relationships between words

also now
have a new version of this that handles multiple
languages

– does not have picture of items,
just works with words

Moving video of
fractal

– analogy of moving into the
web

– if you missed the 1960s, that was
largely what it was like

– the deeper you
get into the web, it doesn’t get any
simpler

If you go to googe and search
for civil rights, all the hits are jumbled
tgether

– this leads to the incremental
cost of ignorance

– most people stop
looking at search results after finding one or two seemingly-relevant sites. The
incremental cost of ignorance is perceived to be lower than the cost of spending
more time nalyzing the information

Go
to groxis to use grokker search tool

– it
reads the pages that come back with google, determines what the page is about,
builds a page summary, puts that into a category, and groups
them

– it groups the search
results

– can save searches on your hard
drive

– can filter the searches in rich
ways

– up pops text summary of a
page

– you can tell if it is worth visiting
the site before you actually go
there

Added a feature that after you
find

Look at
Nettrekker

Duke: what is going ton
with iPods: giving iPods to every
freshman

– can download class
lectures

last thing:
Blogging

– weblog are powerful
because:

— like rizomes, not like trees
(not hierarchical)_

— spread of info on a
flat surface, don’t know where something is going to pop up
next

example of blog posting about
using a bic pen to open a kryptonite lock


Fortune 10 Jan 2005

– the company announced
free exchange

SWARM: organized
coincidences

– like “xeroxacy” not
hierarchy

– facilitated by
blogs

– San Francisico “critical mass”
example

Example from DaVinci Code by
Dan Brown

– when published, Publishers
Weekly said that will not be the best seller of the weekend (that did not prove
true)

– Oprah never said read this book:
she is an example of a tree, a
hierarchy

DaVinci Code is example of
word of math marketing: very
powerful

Our challenge: go back and
talk to kids and teachers: how do you think blogs could help your self-directed
learning

– if you come up with these, email
David!

This is an example of
..

Quick comments: we need to be
thinking about the classroom and what things are
done

– showed picture from
1300s

biggest change in math
textbooks in last 1000 years: translating from Latin to
English!

As we think about
technologies in new ways, we need to think about harnessing the power to
transfer

Marshal Mccluhan: when you
travel at the speed of light, you don’t need a rearview
mirror

Be a nut willing to think
outside the fruit!

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