Navigating the creative destruction of technology

Navigating the creative destruction of technology

Categorized under: technology education for kids

At one point, there were experts on the Apple IIe. Before, that we had those who were proficient on punch card programming. Every age and every generation has technology tools that are considered the pinnacle of efficiency and effectiveness. When these new tools are released, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and new solutions are quickly built using these amazing new platforms. And, just as soon as these new tools emerge, there is another hardware and software platform that is stronger, faster and better.

The age that the next generation is entering has new tools that are constantly being invented. In order to make sure that those who will lead us into a better tomorrow have the skills that they need, we will need to make sure that they have technology acumen.

Technology acumen is different from learning coding or programming or robotics. Instead of simply focusing on Python, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, the next generation needs to be able to quickly pick up whichever platform is most efficient and effective for the problem they are trying to solve.

This is not a narrow focus on coding, programming, 3D modeling, or robotics. These specific programs platforms may be helpful in the moment. As parents/guardians, our goals is to prepare our children for what is to come throughout the entirety of their career.

The only constant with technology has been that it consistently changes. Sometimes the changes are over long periods of time 30-50 years. Other times, the changes occur much more frequently in 5-10 year cycles.  In an ever changing technologically advanced world, our children need the skills to pick up new hardware and software platforms quickly. It is entirely likely that the next generation may experience cycles every 1-3 years.

Unlike prior generations, there is no longer a lifetime employment contract with companies. We can not reasonably expect our children to work at the same company for their entire career. Similar to the constant change in their workplace, we should also expect a constantly changing suite of technology platforms. These platforms are the tools that our children will need to be successful in their workplaces.

The problems they solve will often be facilitated by a technological platform. However, if these platforms are constantly changing and they didn’t formally study a given hardware or software, there will need to be a different resource they pull from in order to be successful.

Our hypothesis is that by cross training students on a wide variety of platforms, they will begin to develop the necessary literacy to self teach themselves platforms independently. And, over time they can initially utilize their beginner knowledge and then grow to expertise through application specific problem solving.

While it is quite possible that there are platforms that will endure over many technological cycles, the reality is that those who have enduring knowledge will be in successful in the range of disruptive environments. So, if the platforms last longer, your children are well prepared. And, if the platforms are quickly disrupted, your children are well prepared. With technology as the foundation for success going forward, we believe that this is the best approach for long term success.

About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the Co-Founder & CEO of Digital Adventures.