Thomas Friedman, how can this world be flat? How can your TRUE belief be that we are on a level playing field when it comes to growth and technology? Spend five minutes in my old middle school classroom and you will learn this playing field is not only spiky but the spikes are quite large. I teach in the largest urban elementary school in the area with our academy housing over 1200 students combined; my students come from different economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. The only real flat level field they play on is they all must be in uniform. If Friedman walked into one of our middle school classrooms he would learn, most of our students do not have access to a computer in their home. Their access to technology is limited to the time spent in the classroom using our few chrome books we are able to split between classrooms. We do not have a computer lab, or a 1:1 computer program but two carts split between over 400 students. Are we level with schools that have access to brand new technology? Mr.Friedman if the world inside of our schools is not level, how can the larger world be level? Sure, there are call centers, computers in places of the world that twenty years ago did not exist. More and more countries and individuals are gaining access to modern technology. They have access but who is teaching them how to use all the different things that a computer enables them to do? What good is WiFi access if you do not know how to construct an email or skype to reach family members? This world is spiky. We have areas of great growth, education, and technology that continue to grow. As Florida’s article states the spikes are areas where top talent is being attracted to because of their brand new and cutting edge technology. For example, Boston is a spike. We have MIT, and hundreds of brilliant minds in labs working. Boston will continue to attract individuals who want to be on the cutting edge of science because of it’s great universities, research labs, and hospitals. But, what about our industrial age powerhouses? Places such as Michigan, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland have not spiked but continued to decline. What would Friedman say about the level playing field in those communities.
The Bostrom video brought up many strong points. Will there be a need for individuals in the world of the future? Walk into any Walmart, Stop and Shop, or McDonalds; you are no longer interacting with a person. Need to figure out where you are going? Gone are the days of having to use your map skills to figure out directions. GPS will tell you how to get there and how much traffic you will encounter on the way. With the increase of technology the decrease of human interaction and critical thinking skills are slowly declining. What will we do when the computers become smart then us? When they are thinking for us? In this day of increasing face paced technology we must still fight to maintain human connection and critical thinking skills.
It is enviable that technology is going to continue to change the world. As the new and improved Ipad is set to be released in the upcoming months, we will add another layer that not everyone in the world is able to access. So, I challenge these tech gurus rather then improve the newest technology make a plan for technology to be accessible to all. If you want a level playing field, then work to make it level. When each student is able to access the internet, to have the same resources, then maybe we can start off on flat ground.