While reading Chapter One, David Wiley’s idea that six significant shifts are currently taking place in our society caught my attention. First he acknowledges that we are moving from analog to digital. Without even realizing it, “paper as a physical medium is fast giving way to the digital formats we create using technology and formats that are searchable, easier to copy and share, potentially collaborative, and more easily organized.” Because I grew up during this period of technological change, I was unaware how dramatic this change has become recently. Paperback books are rarely used anymore, and we are more concerned about how we can attain our information in the most convenient way. At the rate we are headed, it seems like in the next few years, paperback books will be eliminated completely because we will be able to access every text online.
Wiley’s belief that we are shifting from tethered to mobile related to my own life the most. More and more people are switching to smart phones, allowing themselves constant internet access. I recently switched to a smart phone, and admit that I am unsure how I accomplished anything before it. It makes it possible for us to have any information right at our fingertips. The potential is really incredible. To most, laptops are a major innovation, but they are already on the verge of replacement.
Another shift I can relate to is that learning is moving from being a fundamentally isolated experience to one that is decidedly connected. It has always been easy to communicate with those around us, but “the global connections now available have created an expectation of collaboration and cooperation around learning that goes beyond our physical space.” For me, this blog is the perfect example of what Wiley is talking about. I am able to share my thoughts and feelings online, and people all over are able to read and elaborate on it.
The shift from generic to personal is not one I experience as much, but I know it benefits many members of society today. We are now able to find others with the same interests as us, which was not always easy. I mostly use the internet for school purposes, only researching assigned topics or articles. However, modern technology would make it plausible for me to find others who share my interests at the click of a button.
Creation to consumption has given us the opportunity to not only consume ideas, but to share them as well. Instead of just “reading, thinking and synthesizing ideas”, we now can turn them into creative acts. I feel like this can only benefit society in the long run. If people are willing to delve out of their comfort zones and look into trying new things, access is easily provided.
Finally, Wiley touches on the shift of closed systems and ideas to open ones. This is one shift that I am unsure about, simply because “open content is becoming more ubiquitous; it is content created without copyright restrictions, freely published and shared, and available for others to use and reuse.” It seems really interesting and could potentially be helpful, but the possibilities could be endless.
These shifts have “huge implications for us as educators.” Growing up with technology, I am accustomed to a lot of these changes. However, I still feel a sense of discomfort, and understand what affect these shifts could have. It really goes to show how much we are evolving, and what possibilities may lie ahead.