“Even in the worst of times, there is still a future of opportunity out here!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
For a brief moment I thought this photo might seem creepy – but then I decided to run with it. It’s a frame grab from my virtual talk for several hundred teachers with a school board in Missouri. The thing with virtual is that done right, it becomes a window of creativity with unlimited opportunities for imaginative design!
The context? One of my closest friends celebrates a milestone birthday today – both he and his wife are teachers in a local school board. With two young children of their own, they face a double whammy – returning their kids to class, and going back to class themselves. I know they are both pretty stressed, anxious, worried and apprehensive about their imminent return. I cannot imagine the depth of the emotions complexity they face.
And that was the mindset that led me into my virtual talk yesterday. I couldn’t possibly address the challenges of Covid-19 and the classroom – all I could do was talk about the future, reality, innovation and transformation. With that in mind, I built my talk around the future, and education – what type of world might today’s young children graduate into? What types of careers might they find themselves in? What’s happening with the acceleration of knowledge?
I also spoke to the challenges the teacher faces in today’s classroom – many, not adept with technology, face a generation that has mastered technology since the age of 18 months. It’s an interesting, and challenging situation. This tweet floated across my timeline the day before, and I made it the cornerstone of a key section of my talk:
Look at the numbers – as of this moment, 273,000 retweets and comments, and 1.3 million likes. She has clearly struck a chord.
“To students starting school today, Please be nice to your teachers. My dad is 53 years old, and not a whiz w technology. He’s called me EVERY day, attempting to practice because he’s so nervous and wants what’s best for his students. Please be patient with them. They’re trying.”
All over the world, we have teachers – dealign with distance education technology, or technology in the classroom – for whom the skill is not a key skill, with a generation for whom technology is oxygen. It’s an interesting time to be a teacher! And that was a part of my message!
Overall? The future? From the outside looking in, it’s still exists! You just need the insight, hope and motivation that will help to get you there! And that’s the thing about futurists – we view your world from outside of your time zone, letting you know where you will get to, not to where you are!