Information technology evolves through disruption waves. First the computer, then the web and eventually social networks and smartphones all had the power to revolutionize how people live and how businesses operate. They destroyed companies that weren’t able to adapt, while creating new winners in growing markets.
Manufacturing output in the United States has doubled since 1979, when manufacturing employment was at its highest. Employment in manufacturing has fallen 37% since the 1979 high. Where have the manufacturing jobs gone? Only about 20% has been because of outsourcing. A majority of the jobs have been lost to robots.
Are we prepared in education for when a robot comes for our jobs? A lot of teachers will say that a computer will never be able to know a student or how to modify teaching to work with challenging students. That’s a nice vision to hold on to, but, imagine the best teacher in your school. The one who knows everyone and exactly how to work with each student. Now imagine someone 100 times better that can work with tens of thousands of students. All at the same time.
In the movie Her (spoiler alert!) the protagonist falls in love with the new operating system he installed. When they break up, he finds out that “she” has been having relationships with multiple people, all at the same time.
How soon? Maybe 10-15 years. Google can already guess my searches with uncanny accuracy. And what becomes of teachers?