The Future of the IT IndustryJuly 6th, 2011 | Industry News | No Comments »
We’re talking about far future. Like 25 years from now. Considering that 25 years ago, no one knew what the Internet was, it’s safe to say that few people can make any realistic predictions about what technology and the IT industry will look like more than two decades from today.
But we can dream. And we can take a look at the generation who will be in their prime 25 years from now; namely, those clumsy, runny-nosed, giggling kids who currently happen to be somewhere in the K-12 education process.
Technology in Schools
Teachers across the nation and globe are reinventing their classrooms to better reflect the 21st Century. It’s a challenging and slow paradigm shift, necessitated by the overwhelming impact that the current technological revolution is having on society.
What do these changes look like? You name it. Laptops, notebooks, tablets, iPods, eReaders, specialized education software, blogs, social media, video chat, apps, and more.
Organizations like the Texas Computer Education Association are highly focused on integrating technology into classrooms, and are working with administrators and teachers to do so.
Executive Director of TCEA, Lori Gracey, says, “we have recently seen an explosive growth in the ability of young children to manipulate intelligent devices, including smartphones and tablet computers.” Children can run applications and programs at a much younger age than anyone ever expected, Gracey adds.
Even the youngest of leaders in the tech scene right now were not born into technology like today’s youngsters. Instead, they discovered the Internet at the same time as their parents, at ages 5, 10, or 15. But for today’s 5, 10, and 15 year olds, the Internet is as natural as breathing.
So how will this affect the future of IT? As IT Manager Patrick Mitchell, from Best Essay Help, comments, the answer is “easy and straightforward: as more and more people deal with technology from early childhood, there’s a bigger chance of innovation to popup.”
And that’s putting it lightly.
The past two decades have brought many technological innovations, changing the way we function in everyday life. And while new tech innovation will likely continue at an impressive rate, it’s also a safe bet that there will be a greater focus on user interface.
It’s a typical process: first there is an invention, and only after that is the invention reworked to better fit into our lives. You can look at any technology for easy examples of this, be it cars, phones, music and more.
We’ve seen the beginning of this in recent years, a great example being the smartphone, integrating technology into more and more of our lives. But it’s probable that the next 25 years will bring this kind of integration and intense user interface and design to an extreme.
Project Manager Brian Gier agrees, saying, “Networks will become self-healing fabric stitched together by self-powered devices all communicating, updating, and notifying each other and ourselves… interfaces as we know them will cease to exist when the device become part of us.”
A recent article from UX Magazine, by Scott Jensen, states that the smart devices of today are just the beginning; “key chains, credit cards, headsets, head-mounted displays, smart jewelry…even smart blenders and knife sharpeners are not far behind.”
Jensen goes on to say that the process of choosing a computer and then buying hoards of software and applications on top of that will soon be obsolete, replaced by a model “in which people work with multiple devices on the same data, usually through the cloud.”
Certainly, the concept of the cloud has a lot of potential and will likely take directions we could never even imagine. And once again, this is sure to be just the beginning. Can you imagine what technology will look like in 25 years?
From Tots to Techies
With their tiny hands digging into technology from day one, today’s children will definitely rearrange the world into a future we cannot possibly predict.
Heidi Siwak, a 6th grade teacher who has created a website dedicated to her 21st century classroom, puts it perfectly: these children are building “digital footprint[s]” and the consequences of that will be great.
What do you think? How will today’s children use technology to change our future?
-By Clare Saumell