5 Reasons Why Your Kid Won't Go to College

March 03 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Social Issues   Year: 2020   Rating: 19

As accelerating change transforms the way we learn, innovate and network, traditional social institutions will be forced to adjust. Some will successfully make the transition, most won’t.

Universities, in particular, will need to completely re-think their models as youth are lured away by new income and actualization opportunities.

While it’s possible that some schools will be able to change with the times, here are 5 compelling reasons why your kid (born in 2002) probably won’t be going away to college in 2020:

1. Prevalence of Teenage Millionaires: With more and more people making money online, an explosion of user-generated content platforms like Second Life and Spore and the ongoing rise in value of human capital, a boom in teenage millionaires will be old news by 2020. Pressured by their peers to roll the dice and strike it rich, kids will opt out of college and probably even high school. Parents will be loving it.

2. Distributed Distance Learning: People are already taking classes via virtual worlds. By 2020 there will be millions of rich, interactive courses offered online. This will allow kids to learn from anyone anywhere and will moot campus-based learning.

3. Pervasive Education: The advent of the semantic web, Artificial Intelligence and new learning software will mean that kids are effectively attending college at every moment of their lives.

4. Corporate Poachers: Google is already tapping into the middle school market via contests. 2020 will see companies more aggressively recruiting kids straight out of high school and paying them to learn while on the job.

5. Enhanced Info Input: Brain implants, new attention mastery techniques, powerful learning software and better understanding of brain development will conspire to let kids learn much more in a shorter span. To the average future kid, the current notion of college will feel like swimming through a pool of molasses.

While this doesn’t mean you should hop on a plane and go blow your kid’s college fund in Vegas, it does suggest that at some point you may want to consider allocating some of it to alternative learning programs and new technologies. As our environment undergoes changes, so too must the methods and structure we employ to teach our youth to navigate it.

Will most children born in 2002 attend college as we currently know it?

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New Breakthrough Allows Electronics To Dance The "Twist"

November 21 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2012   Rating: 4 Hot

You’ve heard about electronics that can bend and even stretch, but a team at Northwestern University has managed to make electronics that can withstand any configuration, including twisting.

This breakthrough could help in developing gadgets that are located on the human body which is itself highly flexible (except mine). “This emerging technology promises new flexible sensors, transmitters, new photovoltaic and microfluidic devices, and other applications for medical and athletic use.” Flexible electronics have the potential to change how we view visits to the doctors office, how we talk on the phone, even interacting with people.

Imagine being able to wrap an X-Ray machine around your leg at the emergency room to see exactly what the break looks like and where it’s located. Or having a 40-inch screen folded into the size of a pack of cigarettes. Why not incorporate your music into your winter beanie? The possibilities are already amazing and we haven’t even scratched the surface.

via PhysOrg

Key2SafeDriving is a Great Product For Anal-Retentive Parents

December 12 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 4 Hot

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Leave it to people in Utah to invent the most anal-retentive product of this decade so far.  Key2SafeDriving is a prototype made by University of Utah researchers that allows parents to disable their kids' cellphones while they're driving.  The parents can allow certain numbers to be dialed, and of course 911 is still available, but the kicker is the other functions they hope to add into it.

They hope to include a "safety score" which will be sent each month to insurance companies to compile a driving record of each user.  "The score also could include data recorded via Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites on the driver's speeding, rapid braking or running of lights, which are calculated by comparing the driver's position with a database of maps, speed limits, stop lights and so on."  You'll basically have to drive like a saint (usually the most hated person on the road) or else your insurance company will use that one time you went five miles over the speed limit to jack up your rates like crazy.

I really don't see this gaining ground among the general public.  The people I see using this are parents of only children, Mormons, parents who home school their kids, and rich liberal intellectuals who feel their kids will see how much they treasure their life through their over-protectionism.  Sorry if I come off as hostile, but this product is so silly it makes me laugh that there might be a market for it.  Check out their totally awesome video after the jump (seriously, you have to see it, I'm still laughing).

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HP and ASU Develop a Cheap Flexible Electronic Display

December 08 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2009   Rating: 2

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HP and the Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University announced their first prototype of a flexible screen that is both easy to produce and affordable.  Made almost entirely out of plastic, the displays hope to revolutionize the size of our electronics such as laptops, phones and televisions.  The amazing thing about it is their prototype consumes 90% less material than traditional displays of the same screen size.

It's been difficult for flexible screens to break into the mass market due to their cost and complicated design, but with recent breakthroughs like this we can expect flexible displays start to show up in our everyday lives by next year.  I mean, if they can build a plant that can crank out thousands of feet of thin film solar fairly quickly, it would make sense they could use the same type of production to mass-produce flexible displays.

via BusinessWire

Polishing Teeth With Silica Nanoparticles Keeps The Dentist Away

December 23 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2012   Rating: 2

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Researchers at Clarkson University have discovered a way to protect teeth from tooth decay by polishing the surface with silica nanoparticles.  The teeth are polished so smooth that harmful bacteria, the leading cause of tooth enamel decay, are unable to attach to the surface.  "Roughness left on the tooth after the polishing is just a few nanometers, which is one-billionth of a meter or about 100,000 times smaller than a grain of sand."  Even if bacteria manage to get a hold of the surface, a simple brushing will brush them off fairly quickly.  The polishing method is taken from the method developed to polish semiconductors.

Story via Science Daily, image via Gizmodo

Internet Leaders Predict an Increasingly Mobile Internet Experience

December 15 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Technology   Year: 2020   Rating: 1

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Elon University recently unveiled a series of future scenarios they've compiled from asking industry leaders, analysts and activists a series of questions about major tech advances they expect by 2020.  You can find good snippets from the report here at Pew Internet.

One thing the report goes over is the increasing use of mobile internet as the method of connecting to the World Wide Web.  "The mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet for most people in the world in 2020."  The go on to cite various examples such as the increasing computing power of mobile phones, how applications are increasingly easy to use and operate, and of course the cost of phones drop everyday (anyone heard the rumor that Wal-Mart would be selling the iPhone for $99?)

On one hand I feel bad for those '$100 Laptop' people who tried so hard to make a cheap laptop and have pretty much failed, but on the other hand we have amazing products that do even more for the same price, and they're small.  While the idea of a third world student dutifully doing their homework on a cellphone may seem strange, by 2020 we'll be seeing developments of amazing heads-up displays as well as the nearly complete removal of the touchscreen as a device.  Infrared beams can replace a touchscreen and rolllable OLED screens will allow for larger displays in much smaller gadgets.

Check out the links above for the full scoop.