This panel discussion really demonstrated the forward thinking schools
… from around the globe. There are many new types of programs that are being introduced into traditional education.
Right now, the speaker from Tamkang
University in Taiwan, Dr. Shun-Jie Ji,
their requirements in Future Studies and STEEP – Society, Technology,
Economics, Environment, Politics. It’s very cool to see the
multi-disciplinary aspects of what they are teaching … from sciences
to health and medicine … all forward looking and exploring the
future. He is committed to creating stronger leaders who have the
ability to accomplish more in the future world.
The next speaker, Sr. Denise Lawrence, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual
Organization, talked about The Role of Meditation in Intelligent Learning
… yet another new twist in education. Their experience is that
meditation alters the quality and process of thought. These
thought processes become influenced by inner stillness, intuitive
clarity, creative insight, and innate moral wisdom. Intelligent
learning is then enhanced and able to emerge from this experience.
The final speaker (I missed the first one!) was Robin Raskin, Digital Mom, Author, Raising Digital
and her comments are around not forgetting many of the core values of
life. As technology continues to accelerate, we seem to be moving
away from “responsible computing”. To her, it appears that
children are learning from adults that things are more permissible in
the virtual world that are not “ok” in the real world. She gave
examples of where it is no longer about children being exposed to
“naked people”, but instead people who – in one case – encouraged a
teen age girl to commit suicide by providing not only the chat room
encouragement, but the detailed instructions on how to do it! She
feels that in the current overly scheduled, overly competitive world
… children actually see cyberspace as the last place to escape their
“helicoptor parents” and hectic lives.
Most of the “guides to parenting” have fallen far behind in
communicating about cyberspace. Children have started to lose the
distinction of what a “friend” is … they claim a friend, but often
don’t really know who that “friend” is in the real world. Robin
feels that as corporate dollars are now flowing into Friendster,
MySpace, and other social networking sites they are becoming the same
as on-line bars. The Pew Institute just released a study that
showed that only 38% of people – old or young – can distinguish paid
vs. unpaid content!
Robin really had to rush to fit her presentation into the time
allotted, however she had some very good points and statistics … the
impacts on children, and then blurring of lines in cyberspace … have
got to be causing long-term effects in society that we have yet to see.