Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shift Happens

Karl Fisch is more than just a teacher, he must be classified as an “educator.” He works for the Littleton, Colorado, school district as Director of Technology in Arapahoe High School. To even have a Director of Technology in a high school makes it quite unique, and apparently, Mr. Fisch is equally unique. He has a blog (The Fischbowl) that is used by the high school staff and his students. He also developed a remarkable Power Point slide presentation that he calls, “Did You Know,” with a sub-title of Shift Happens, which emphasizes the enormous pace of information, discovery, and innovation taking place in the world. (Mr. Fisch was apparently influenced by Thomas Friedman’s book, The Earth Is Flat). The latest version (slightly different from what is listed below) can be accessed by clicking here. Accessing this original blog on-line is much more dramatic than reading the rest of this article. Nevertheless, here it is:

Did You Know?
  • If you are one in a million in China, there are 1300 people just like you. In India there are 1100 people just like you.

  • The 25 percent of Chinese population with the highest IQ’s is greater than the [entire] population of North America. In India, it’s the top 28 percent. They have more honor kids than we have kids.

  • China will soon become the number one English speaking country in the world.

  • If you took every job in the United States today and shipped it to China, it would still have a labor surplus.

  • During the course of this presentation [about seven minutes], 60 babies will be born in the United States; 244 in China; 351 in India.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs by age 38. One out of four workers today is working for a company for whom they’ve been employed less that one year. More than one of two less than five years.

  • According to former Education Secretary Richard Reilly, the top ten jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004. We have been preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented, in order to solve problems that have not yet been recognized.

  • Name this country — richest in the world; largest military; center of business and finance; strong education system; world center of innovation, invention; currency the world standard of value; highest standard of living. [Answer] England in 1900. [Will that be us in 2100?]

  • The US. Is 20 th in broadband internet penetration —Luxemburg just passed us.

  • Nintendo invested more than $42 million in Research and Development in 2002 alone. The U.S. federal government spent less than half as much on research and innovation in education.

  • 1 out of every 8 couples married in the United States last year met on-line.

  • There are over 106 million users of My Space as of October 2006. If My Space were a country it would be the 11 th largest in the world. The average My Space page is visited 30 times a day.

  • We are living in exponential times: there are 2.7 billion searches a day on Google every month. How were these addressed before Google?

  • The number of text messages sent and received each day exceeds the population of the planet.

  • There are 540,000 words in the English language, about five times as many during Shakespeare’ time.

  • More than 3,000 books are published daily.

  • It is estimated that a week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information that a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the18th century.

  • It is estimated that 40 exabytes (4.0 X 10 19 ) of unique information will be generated worldwide this year. That’s estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years.

  • The amount of new technology information is doubling every two years. For students starting a four-year technology or college degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study. It is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.

  • Third generation fiber optics recently tested by NEC and Alcatel pushes 10 trillion bits per second down one strand of fiber. That’s 1900 CD’s, or 150 million simultaneous phone calls every second. It’s currently tripling every six months.

  • 47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year. The $100 “laptop project” is expected to ship between 50 and 100 million laptops a year to children in underdeveloped countries.

  • Predictions are that by 2013 a super computer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain. And while technical predictions further out than 15 years are hard to do, by 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.

So, what does it all mean? Shift happens.

The information in this article was recommended to me by our Minnesota friend, Bruce Harris.


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing. What an eye opener. When did we stop being #1 in everything? Were we ever?


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