11 May 2008

Future Map

You can click on the image above to enlarge it, or better yet, head on over to the Institute for the Future and download a copy for yourself. This is the Future of Making map.

Two future forces, one mostly social, one mostly technological, are intersecting to transform how goods, services, and experiences—the “stuff” of our world—will be designed, manufactured, and distributed over the next decade. An emerging do-it-yourself culture of “makers” is boldly voiding warranties to tweak, hack, and customize the products they buy. And what they can’t purchase, they build from scratch. Meanwhile, flexible manufacturing technologies on the horizon will change fabrication from massive and centralized to lightweight and ad hoc. These trends sit atop a platform of grassroots economics—new market structures developing online that embody a shift from stores and sales to communities and connections.

In other words, social networking isn't just for the digital environment. It's going to change our physical world, too. There have always been creative and intelligent forces at work in the world, but platforms like blogs, twitter, flickr, and others makes it simpler (and cheaper) for people with similar interests and ideas to find one another---and then share with the rest of us.

Speaking of the future, the Globe and Mail recently published an overview of web 3.0 apps, referring to this as Creating a Global Brain. Like the Future of Making, the idea here is that new technology will enable people to move from simply connecting to share information to new forms of collaboration and the ability to "mash-up" various kinds of data. Some of those will likely be introduced via The Idea Shower, a launchpad for new ideas on the web. I'm diggin' it.

It all makes me wonder what learning will look like in 3 - 5 years. Will my classroom be different in terms of how students use and create information?

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