Rapid technology change and the technology transition generation

In many ways, I feel like I am part of the “technology transition generation.” I’m surprised more hasn’t been written or discussed on this. What this means is I’m am part of a generation old enough to know a time before technology and appreciate how far we’ve progressed and young enough to still be immersed in technology every day.  My first video game system was THE first video game system Pong…my first portable computer was THE first portable computer…my music collection has progressed from LP, to 8-track to cassette to CD to MP3.  I can very clearly appreciate how far technology has come because I’ve lived through the transition.  And since I’ve been working for Microsoft for much of this transition, I’ve often been on the frontlines of the changing technology landscape. 

Kids today have a far different technology lexicon and heritage.  This video below shows school children in Montreal trying to identify technology gadgets from the late 20th century and highlights the gap as well as some age-defining realizations.  What’s more interesting…the implications on learning and technology for a generation where the Internet is pervasive…natural input not keyboard is defacto interface standard …content is available everywhere on anything…and your social circle is defined by who you’re connected to as much as who you actually know. 

In this landscape…how should what we assess and test change? Are we limiting technology’s potential by defining usage based on old norms and simple transition from analog to digital?  In a world so technology-rich…why isn’t the incremental impact and experience changing?  Thoughts?

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