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My host teacher, Cindy, showed me a version of this video yesterday.  She and I were talking to one of her students about how difficult it had become for her generation to plan for the future when it seems so different than the world today.

It led us to discuss the fact that most of the education system seems hell-bent on preparing kids for jobs from the industrial age.  We derogate computers and the time that kids spend on them, forgetting that computer proficiency is critical to 90% of the jobs out there now, much less the ones that will be available when they grow up.  I still had to teach the Dewey Decimal System last year because it was in the grammar textbooks.

Seriously, Dewey the Rainbow-Clad worm, your time has come and gone.

The Dewey Decimal System. Seriously.

I felt like writing in to the textbook company and reminding them that kids will likely not need to know what kinds of books can be found in the 600s unless they happen to be transported back in time to an age where computers don’t exist and they have to research the means to rebuild their time-machine.

Besides, most of them won’t ever be doing their research in a library (sorry, Liana).  The way things are going, every paper-based book will end up with a virtual doppelganger, accessible to the anyone with an internet connection and (for the really good stuff) a password.  Research papers will get published without ever going to print, cookbooks will no longer sit unused on bending shelves in the kitchen, and textbooks will be bought online with credit cards, delivered via email, but probably still cost as much as a small car.

What kind of world will my baby live in?  How will she communicate with her friends?  What futuristic devices from day will she mock as hopelessly outdated and archaic.

Whatever she does, I know that I’ll be amazed.

Unless she’s a space marine.  (See Aliens, Avatar, Halo (1, 2, 3, and ODST), and the fates of redshirts everywhere.)