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  • I am old school. Literally. I was born at the start of the TV broadcast era. Back then, television sets were hulking monstrosities that sat in the living room. Their flickering screens of black and white images brought to me the reality of world beyond the boundaries of my North Philly ghetto. The adults in my life were born in the radio era. They didn’t understand that my pattern of thinking was different from theirs. I learned from watching. They learned by listening.

    Fast forward to today. I am old school, I think in a logical step-by-step progression. I use the language of the pre-digital era. Young people (under 30) think differently than I do, their brains have been altered to accept the digital revolution. Their minds have been trained to multi-task. They can read, listen to music and watch TV all at the same time.

    There is a movement afoot to radically change our traditional educational system. Proponents of the change say that America's educational system is slow and antiquated. It was designed for an agrarian society 200 years ago. Today’s youth were born into a world of cell phones, computers and video games. Rapid response is their mantra. Instant gratification is a foundation of their learning experience. Old school learning is boring to the students of the digital age. The proponents say.

    Did you see the sci-fi movie, Star Trek IV: the voyage home? In it, Leonard Nimoy plays Spock who must be retaught everything. The story opens with him, on his home world of Vulcan, engaged in an intense random access learning test. Here’s the trailer. Do you see how the link diverts your attention to a new line of thought? Will this be the school of the future? Instead of learning "1, 2, 3, ... First A then B, then C, etc." tomorrow's students will be encourage to seek information where ever the data stream leads them. ("1, 2. - ∑œå∫√ ≈Ω≥ ≤µ˚…æ¬˚∆˙© ƒ∂ßå")

    Have computers reshaped the human brain? Is this the beginning of a melding between human and machine? Will hyperactive minds, assisted by speed of light data processing devices, cure the ills that have plagued mankind since the beginning of time? Or is this the end contemplative deliberative thinking?

    In our rush to solve problems will we create greater problems? Is there any body out there in the cyber-Universe asking for a timeout? Where are we headed? Does anybody care?
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