Today’s youth are tomorrow’s future; and while this phrase is overused, it has never been more true.
Today’s graduating seniors were born into the computer age and grew up with and around computers. They have taken to social media in droves and have driven the need for smart phones and other devices.
The millennial generation has an opportunity to experience things that their parents were only able to imagine in books and movies. It has also transformed the classroom and the way students learn.
“Students can access information from all over the world and learn about trends in other parts of the globe,” said Noah Arceneaux, assistant professor at San Diego State University. “Sometimes students look up information while I am lecturing and correct me on a certain point.”
In his article 7 Futuristic Movies That Got It Right, Matt Hoffman points out many similarities between today’s technology and yesterday’s sci-fi predictions including voiceprint identification and robot controlled aircrafts.
The most prominent similarity is between the fictional tricorder and today’s smart phone, which can even be used to translate foreign languages much like Star Trek’s universal translator.
Space: the unexplored frontier
Science fiction has long held out the possibility of space travel and the colonization of other planets.
The recent push by the super-rich to commercialize the final frontier will be made possible by today’s college students.
Using technology that has yet to be invented, many start-up companies plan to mine asteroids for precious minerals.
TV in your pocket
Television has come a long way from the square clunky box with bunny ears. New start-up companies are now promising to allow customers to watch TV from their tablet or smartphone.
This changing technology should be no stranger to today’s college students who have been taught to embrace the rapidly evolving marketplace.
Just as journalism students are being taught to interact with their public through Twitter and social media, so are cinema students taught to capture their audience using converging technology.
With Computer Generated Imagery (CGI), Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) and iPhone application design being taught in today’s classes, the idea that computers can be controlled with the flick of the wrist can’t be that far off.
An emphasis on STEM education has led to the formation of robotic clubs for students from junior high through college with many older students teaching their younger counterparts.
And while it is true that many schools and colleges have found their budgets cut because of economic woes, it is also true that many instructors are using technology to help improve the learning experience and prepare their students to compete in today’s job market.
“On the down side, I fear that students today don’t know how to process information and produce their own original thoughts,” said Arceneaux. “If something is not accessible via Google, then it may as well not exist.”
Video games, which have long offered sanctuary to bored teenagers, can now be played with house pets.
Nestle Purina’s You vs. Cat, allows human players to compete against their feline friends.
Game designers have been playing with technology as far back as the original Nintendo’s Powerpad which allowed players their first hands on gaming experience.
Whatever their first experience with technology was, today’s graduating seniors have been immersed in a world full of computers since birth.
Their technology driven lives have driven many changes in our society and as they step off the podium with their diploma in hand they will also be stepping into the workforce and taking their place among our nation’s leaders.
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