From The Teacher's Desk

Leonard
Leonard Quilty
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Questioning knowledge

I came across a really interesting video on Twitter recently. Its name is ‘Did you know?’

The video link, which was posted by fellow educator Richard Byrne, can be found at ‘www.freetech4teachers.com’.

The short video details the changes being brought about via the Internet and social media.

Just to name three of those changes:

- the top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004;

- MySpace’s 200 million users would equal the fifth largest country in the world; and

- four exabytes (a billion gigabytes) of unique information will be generated this year – more than in the previous 5,000 years!

Isn’t that amazing? But here’s another point to consider. The video ended, almost ominously, with an intriguing question for which no answer was supplied.

“So what does it all mean?”

That got me thinking, so I decided to watch the video a couple of more times.

Here’s what I think it means.

I believe it’s an incredible advantage for humankind to have this ‘new knowledge’ multiplying at such a rapid pace. It’s like what I’ve often heard or read in pedagogical discussions – all knowledge builds upon prior knowledge and the more knowledge you have, the easier it is to accelerate the process.

That brain thrust of new knowledge can only augur well for possible breakthroughs in medical research and other fields of endeavor.

But coupled with this evolution of human intelligence there has to be a parallel growth (at the very least) in our sense of moral certitude. As the information explosion continues on its upward spiral, our ethical compass must be likewise directed to its true north. The apostle Matthew pointed in that direction when he said in chapter 16, verse 26: “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his own soul?”

Moving from the one-room schoolhouse to a one-world schoolhouse is now a reality. - Cisco Systems

One night last summer I read, as a bedtime story to my youngest daughter, an adapted version of the classic children’s tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

The story took quite a while to read and my daughter’s interest, because of her sleepy state, was beginning to wane. I hurried my pace a little and tried to pique her continued interest by saying that an important part of the book was contained near the very end.

With her interest mildly renewed, I quickly arrived at the section where Alice had come to a fork in the road. She then asked the Cheshire cat which road she should take.

He asked her “Where are you going?” Alice replied that she didn’t know. The Cheshire cat quickly responded “Then it doesn’t matter what road you take.”

Likewise, on the information highway, it’s important to illuminate our way with frequent signposts.

For the purpose of clarity and direction, these signposts, displayed in flashing neon colors, should read something like this.

Attention: objects on the horizon are closer than they appear. Always filter new discoveries through the triple sieve – the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and the advice from Jesus found in John 14:6: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Organizations: Golden Rule

Geographic location: Wonderland

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