Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Interesting Times

Nice article on the the future of educational institutes as the hub of scientific research and technology innovation. The author points out :

While there are advanced capabilities that remain available only on campus, that boundary is rapidly receding.

This moment is akin to the turn of the last century, when philanthropists funded the spread of libraries to provide community access to the kinds of collections that had previously been available only to institutions and wealthy individuals. Fab labs are like libraries for a new kind of literacy, the reading and writing of objects rather than books. Instead of building a few big labs, it’s now possible to build a network of many more-accessible smaller labs that can be used for technical empowerment, training, incubation, and invention.

That is nothing short of fascinating. Today's children would probably have access to such labs by when they are adults. Besides the mind-boggling array possibilities that opens up for them, there is also unprecedented amount of choice and empowerment when it comes to education. One can easily imagine courses being tailored to exact individual needs and inclinations, students having the opportunity to create a curriculum for themselves that might require concurrent enrollment at several universities around the world for the best return on their investment of time and money. Instead of walking down the hallway from one lecture to the next, they may log in and out of university portals continents apart.

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