Even in my lifetime we have seen technology developing at a rapid rate (take a look at the Evolution of Technology video on the right). Rotary telephones, dial up modems, the first floppy disk had 80KB of capacity, and PCs used to be shipped with floppy disk drives, then CD ROMS and DVDs and nowadays computers don't have optical storage at all! Connectivity has also rocketed from 56KBPS in the 1990s to today’s 1 GBPS. A nice little infographic provided by TSG (Technology Services Group) shows some of the changes I think are most important for education (the full infographic shows many more aspects that are also important but just want to focus on a couple of the more vital changes).
Some of the questions I think are extra worthy of discussion are:
Is AI (artificial intelligence) achievable?
We have the Turing test to see if computers can actually "think". If AI is achievable, is it actually desirable?
Are there limits to what technology can achieve?
It is true that Moore's law (the idea that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits doubles every two years) means essentially that computers double in capacity and power every two years, will we reach a limit when we are able to working at a molecular level?
What will happen if (when?) computers and humans actually integrate into one seamless organism?
If technology advances so that we can actually store and upload information to our brains (or a memory system that our brains can then process), will that then truly remove the need to learn anything and that we will then just need to focus on skills?
Are we teaching students mindfulness about their technology?
What limits for students are appropriate so that students don't overuse technology and still gain old knowledge and skills (which are still useful). Paired to this is do we need to teach handwriting anymore (Signing off: Finnish schools phase out handwriting classes) or maybe even typing skills are going to be redundant soon? Is it too late as perhaps Tablets are 'eroding' children's digital skills (according to the BBC)
I can see that some younger students don't use Google to find answers to their questions as much, they do instead use Youtube and find a video that explains what they need to know! There are some significant changes that are still ongoing but I think a reflection on the past of the evolution of technology is vital to understand the present (and try to anticipate the future)