Technology's Explosion - Challenges and Limitless Opportunities

16 Sep 2015

Did you know that revenue from the iPhone and iPad account for 72% of Apple’s total revenue? Neither could be bought 5 years ago.

Technology is a fundamental aspect of almost every facet of our daily lives. Did we ever envisage 30 years ago that we would do our shopping without ever going to the shops, buy cars without ever meeting the dealers, chat with friends around the world without picking up the phone, have unlimited access to an abundance of information enabling us to answer any question that we could possibly think of? That we would do all of this using a device which fits into the palm of our hand? This may have seemed scientific and unachievable during the 1970’s, but is a reality today.

The efficiency and effectiveness of an economy is determined by the structure and strength of its basic essential services, education being a crucial one. As countries strive for economic development, they incorporate technology in order to meet specific goals and objectives. Not only does this mean that countries have to keep abreast of ever changing technology, but great emphasis is placed on education in order to support this digital era. What would the value of adopting complex technology be if you do not have the educational structure to support it?

The introduction of the ‘World Wide Web’ has created a platform enabling companies and institutions to extend their reach to remote areas. Hubs, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other online social networks provide a realm of new ways to communicate content and theory. Courses such as Computer-Based Training (CBT) are also now available to ensure that people understand and are able to use this new technology. Over the last 5 years the number of online facilities has increased dramatically. Virtual libraries, study groups and endless databases of information have emerged and all support the new generation of online learners.

Technology does also however present disadvantages. The pace at which technology is evolving is remarkable, making life convenient and easier for those ahead in the technology race. But what about those who are being left behind? The rapidly advancing digital world will ultimately be such an important aspect of our lives that we will not be able to operate without it and we will become redundant if we do not embrace it. The education system needs to be increasingly flexible and scalable. Basic technological languages will be taught at a younger age. Children between the ages of 4 and 7 years will be taught how to read and write, but will also learn how to operate a computer. This duo-linguistic system represents an extreme challenge for countries that have a shortage of educational facilities and third world countries risk falling behind in the digital marathon.

Watch this awesome video which illustrates the importance and impact of technology and how fast it is evolving. For those of you unable to access the video, here are a few of the stats: “The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.”
“We are preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist, using technologies that haven’t been invented.”
“There are 31 Billion searches on Google every month. In 2006, this number was 2.7 Billion.” To whom were these questions asked before?
“The first commercial text message was sent in December of 1992. Today, the number of text messages sent and received every day, exceeds the total population of the planet.”
“The radio took 38 years to hit an audience of 50 million people; it took Facebook only 2 years.”

Technology is evolving at an alarming rate, getting better and faster by the second. What took us 30 years to learn in 1970 was learnt in 15 years by the 1990’s, is likely to take 7 years now and this pattern of reduction is likely to continue. It is critical that we establish and master effective learning structures to overcome the technological challenges we face and that we embrace and take advantage of the limitless possibilities presented.

Author: Roxy Ward

Editor: Kim Elliott

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