I like science fiction, being a self-confessed geek I guess it goes with the territory really. I remember watching Star Trek as a kid every Wednesday at 6pm, it was a ritual in our house. I have fond memories watching James T Kirk and the Enterprise crew boldly going where no man had been before. I still enjoy the re-runs now as well as most other more recent science fiction TV series, films and books.
I particularly enjoyed the Matrix and wrote a post a while ago on my work blog (before I broke it) using a scene from the Matrix. I’d pretty much forgotten about it until a sequence of recent events reminded me of it and I thought I’d update it. The scene is where Trinity and Neo need to escape from the Agents and Trinity needs to learn to fly a helicopter pretty sharpish as the clip below demonstrates
Learning to fly a helicopter in a matter of a few seconds, completely in the realms of science fiction of course…..or is it?
I’ve started trying to make an effort to watch at least one TED Talk a day, and in doing so came across two talks that made me start to think that perhaps this isn’t so much crazy science fiction but just science.
The first is by Lucy McRae, Lucy is a body architect and gives a fascinating 4 minute talk entitled: How can technology transform the human body? You can watch it below
The second is by a chap called Juan Enriquez, his 16 minute talk is entitled: Will our kids be different species? In his talk he describes how throughout human evolution, multiple versions of humans have co-existed. Could we be mid-upgrade now? Juan shows how technology is revealing evidence that suggests rapid evolution may be under way. You can watch the video below
So there you go, the human species is evolving quickly, heavily influenced by the environment we live in. Technological advances are accelerating at such a rate that before long technology will have changed our very biological make up. Even if this doesn’t happen as quickly as Juan would have us believe we’ve still got Lucy transforming our bodies using technology to upgrade, enhance, transform, innovate……mutilate? Some would argue this is progress, some would say it’s art, some would argue this is an abomination; whatever your views you cannot disagree that the next 5-10 years are going to be very interesting in terms of technology and the way in which we as a species use and interact with it.
So why Matrix-learning?
I had to do a factory reset on my phone, I remembered to back up my contacts and files but for some reason forgot to back up my 100+ apps. I know school boy error but too be honest I didn’t panic; I knew I could access them again via Google Play and I probably only used a fraction of them anyway.
So for the next week it was a case of me going about my daily business using my phone as normal and getting the apps as and when I needed them. All the apps that provide me with access to information when I need it to make my life easier, the apps that provide me with access to information at just the right time. Just in time learning…or Matrix-learning?
Take away the helicopter and being hardwired in to the mainframe, I was a real life Trinity, requesting information from Google Play when I needed it but instead of receiving it direct in to my brain I still needed a mobile device. But for how long?
Human microchips have already been used for some time and as technology advances how long will it be for a delivery system to be invented that puts new information directly in to the human brain or indirectly through connecting multiple systems as and when it’s needed. It makes the mind boggle.
I think the information delivery piece is probably relatively easy, the hard bit will be the experience, knowing the buttons and controls on a helicopter is different to having the ability to fly one. We know we learn through our experiences so however information is delivered we still need to think how we contextualise the information and quickly put it in to practice and then reflect on it.
We may not be in a position to fly a helicopter in the same way that Trinity could but after listening to Lucy & Juan, I’m certain it won’t be long before the ‘M’ in m-learning won’t stand for ‘Mobile’ rather it will stand for ‘Matrix’.