This should be required viewing / reading for anyone with a remote interest in politics, economics, education, and 21st century life. Am I leaving anyone out?
In his keynote address 2 weeks ago at the Apple Distinguished Educator Summer 2005 Institute, Alan November encouraged all attendees to read Thomas Friedman’s new book, “The World is Flat.”

Last night, I watched about 45 minutes of Friedman’s May 2005 lecture at MIT about his book and its primary theses, and now I understand why Alan wanted us all to read and understand the ideas in this book. Wow. Friedman has done and is doing a great job of connecting lots of dots, and I think he is absolutely correct– in a large part because of 9-11, our national focus on the war on terror, and the dot com bust, US citizens have been asleep at the wheel when it comes to recognizing, understanding, and adapting to change on a massive scale that is and will continue to have tremendous impacts at multiple levels of our society.

I have not read the book yet, just listened to part of Friedman’s lecture, so I will not post a thorough review and reflection here (yet.) But I will note that people all over this great country of ours had better pay attention to what is being said here. We have discussions going on about school reform– some would say like we always have. But the world IS different. And we are in the middle of exponential changes that we can barely being to fathom the impact of. Just the fact that I watched this video from MIT at my house last night on a laptop, wirelessly connected to the Internet, and at the end had an instant message conversation with my uncle who lives in Kansas, is just jaw dropping AMAZING. The convergence of multiple forces and circumstances are continuing to have a combined, synergistic effect on our economy, culture, communication methods, and brains that no one can afford to ignore.

I am certainly not going to ignore these trends. Take a few minutes and watch this video, you won’t be sorry you did. (Free Realplayer software is required)

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2 Responses to Wake up and pay attention: The World is Flat

  1. PJID says:

    If you read the book, you will find that he is particularly critical of the nation’s education system by pointing out how far our students are falling behind other nations, partcicularly in math and science education.

  2. Wesley Fryer says:

    We’ve just purchased the book on CD to listen to soon on an upcoming car trip, I am really looking forward to hearing his ideas. I am sure I’ll end up buying the book to to refer to, but this will certainly make the hours in the car go by faster….

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