Communication and media are changing and evolving quickly and are doing so on a global scale. Instead of the old media terms for this phenomena, like “new media” or “multi-media” we might best refer to it as “multitudinous media”. New ways of communicating using the Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitters of the world are intersecting with tools as mobile and disruptive as our teenagers themselves.
We all know the world is becoming smaller, or flat as one author puts it. What this means for education and culture is almost impossible to fathom for those of us from traditional literacy models.
Educators, thinkers, futurists and governments are postulating policies to cope with the plethora of communication literacies emerging because the current models of education are failing to keep our students globally competitive. The students are having to do it themselves online, away from the confines of the classroom.
If you want three good books to read, books that will change the way you think about the world and the tools being invented that will change the 21-century education and economic landscapes. Read these three, in this order:
Why these three?
The world is flat, as Tom Friedman has declared. The global community and the changes in interconnectivity within the community have produced a long tail distribution model of goods and services an endless abundance of niches. Our notion of economics and employability will rely on being educated about long tail opportunities/dynamics. Chris Andersen gives us a tour through very compelling examples of how this effects everybody.
The Four Hour Work Week because it is a compelling case study of someone who chooses to live inside the long tail. Tim takes advantage of the changing landscape with intense zeal, and educates us about being literate about wealth in profoundly counter-intuitive ways. He automates his income and travels the world taking on passions with relish, tweaking our ancient notions of what it means to be wealthy along the way. His niches fuel his passions. His passions are his niches. And they become his own private economies.
A Whole New Mind, by Dan Pink because he nails the mind set required to survive in the coming years. Cultivating the right brain, even for left brainers, is crucial to survive as professional services industries become global commodities. Design, Storytelling, Differentiation, and an appreciation of abundance is at the heart of his teaching. Download his lecture from iTunes audiobooks to get a real taste of the urgency of his message.
Come back when you’ve read these and much of what I say will start to come into focus.