loren Eric Swanson: Our View of the Future--February 21, 1967

Monday, February 12, 2007

Our View of the Future--February 21, 1967

A couple of days ago Liz gave me some LOOK magazines from 1967 that were on loan from a friend. The ads were really educational but what I thought was most interesting was an article called "The Future of Education: The Class of 1989" written by Marshall McLuhan and George B. Leonard. Here are a couple of great excerpts that proved to be quite prophetic:

When computers are properly used, in fact, they are almost certain to increase individual diversity. A worldwide network of computers will make all of mankind's factual knowledge available to students everywhere in a matter of minutes or seconds. Then, the human brain will not have to serve as a repository of specific facts, and the uses of memory will shift. In the new education, breaking the timeworn, rigid chains of memory may have greater priority than forging new links. New materials may be learned just as were the great myths of past cultures--as fully integrated systems that resonate on several levels and share the qualities of poetry and song....

Television will be used for involvement, for two-way communication, whether with other people or other environmental systems. It will most certainly not be used to present conventional lectures, to imitate the old classroom.

The world communications net, the all-involving linkage of electric circuitry, will grow and become more sensitive. It will also devlop new modes of feedback so that communication can become dialogue instead of monogogue. It will breach the wall between 'in' and 'out' of school. It will join all peope everywehre. When this has happened, we may at last realize that our place of learning is the world itself, the entire planet we live on.... Someday, all of us will spend our lives in our own school, the world. And education--in the sense of learning to love, to grow, to change--can become not the woeful preparatin for some job that makes us less than we could be but the very essence, the joyful whole of existence itself.


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