The Internet (1) is an ever-expanding universe that probably will be a thing of the past in another decade. Today, unlike 10 years ago, almost every keystroke is recorded – including IMs, Emails, Wiki commentary, and Blogs – then digitally stored forever.
Just like there is already more than one World Wide Web, there will be an Internet (2); Internet (3) and I imagine the next breed won’t be land-based via telephone lines. I’m guessing a satellite will be launched, where all Internet (1) info will be digitally joined with Internet (2) and be wirelessly accessible anywhere on Earth and even from Outer Space.
In fact, in an age of the vast possibility of nuclear wars and global warming, I would guess that everything we know or have done (literature, music, science, mathematics, history) will all be stored there for posterity.
In the classroom, kids love the use of our Internet because they love technology. One thing that may be debatable, but I’d venture a fact, is that libraries, as we know them today in the literal “real world” will be replaced by virtual libraries like Wikipedia and Google.
I’ve heard a lot of knocks on Wikipedia. But those who still knock it are behind the times. Sure, one can open and create a page on some fictitious bird, but that will be caught by auditors and programs very quickly versus even five years ago. Moreover, pages that concern empirical or definitive things like George Washington, for example, are locked and cannot be tampered with by the public any longer. So at the touch of a keyboard, much of the world’s knowledge is available by typing in a couple of words into a Search Engine and getting thousands of documents supporting multiple viewpoints.
Is there smut, lies and rumors online? Online is not a mysterious place. It’s a reflection pool of humanity. The downfall of the Internet seems to be the anonymity.
However, that too is going by the wayside and few will be able to get online in the future writing or trolling around anonymously. What Net Nanny is today, tomorrow will bring freedom for kids to be plugged in – wirelessly unplugged – right from each desk.
An article I read suggests roaming around online doing field trips. I’m sure we could watch movies on individual demand and have speed contests to see which student can find the right answers the quickest.
Call me “old fashioned,” because I still want my Third Grader to go to a dairy, bakery, farm and City Hall. Children need to touch a cow’s nose. Smell hay, manure, buns baking and hear lawyers and politicians lying over at the courthouse. My fear is that money is running out and that some have cleaned the coffers, in such a way, leaving too little for the many that will be here later.
The other night the sky was so clear I could see what seemed like every crater on the Moon. After about ten minutes, I rushed in to outline a short story about a large population of Human Beings covertly living there – on the “dark side.” Never mind about the story, but the sky that night was so clear I could see suns and stars billions of light years from here in reddish hues twinkling like tiny Christmas lights. There were planets and constellations and like the Internet an infinity of possibilities. I closed my eyes for a moment and suddenly realized it was less than 20 degrees. The air smelled fresh and chilly like winter air feels. I thought about it and another assignment on the front burner, the long future and hoped – maybe prayed – we never end up living on the Moon.