Will Educators Own the Future?

| August 15, 2014

Likely not.

I just finished reading Jaron Lanier’s ‘Who Owns the Future?‘—about a year after the rest of the world, it turns out—and I’m not optimistic.

It was an excellent read, especially due to Lanier’s broad experience with technologies and his interest in economics. He offers educators a lot to think about, such as:

Will teaching be a middle class job (at least) in the future?

Will humans even be paid to teach?

How will education be limited by software? And how will that software hide the contribution of humans?

These are some questions at the core of his ruminating, and the thesis of the book (that the world is generally headed in the wrong direction with respect to how networks are designed and used) opened up these questions in new ways for me.

I am afraid I am quite sympathetic to his worries. Unfortunately his bleak vision of the future isn’t well-balanced by his ideas for how to mitigate the present dangers of technology and create a better world for humans.

In general, I’d like to think I’m working on a solution just by working in the education sector. But Lanier gives me pause, and a lot to think about.