Magazine article Techniques

Today's Millennial Generation: A Look Ahead to the Future They Create

Magazine article Techniques

Today's Millennial Generation: A Look Ahead to the Future They Create

Article excerpt

It's 2009: The current millennial generation, the i-Kids, the "Digital Natives," the Net Generation students are now approximately ages 8 to 27. Many of these students are entering their years of career exploration while others are actively involved in career and technical education (CTE) programs in school or college. The millennial generation is the first generation to grow up with technology integrated into their lives--cell phones, i-pods, computers, the Internet, instant messaging, texting, MySpace and Facebook accounts, computer and console video games and multimedia. The future will be full of surprises and that surely will include more technological advances. One such advancement on the horizon is computerized clothing.

"Computerized clothes will be the next step in making computers and devices portable without having to strap electronics to our bodies or fill our pockets with a plethora of gadgets. These new digital clothes aren't necessarily designed to replace the PC, but they will be able to perform some of the same functions," according to Discovery's HowStuffWorks. Companies such as IBM, Levi, Philips, Nike and SensaTex are already exploring the possibility of putting us in designer computerized clothing.

"In Europe, Levi is already test marketing the musical jacket developed by the MIT Media Lab," HowStuffWorks notes. The millennial generation will have technology to manage their homes and maintain their lives. Sensors in homes will collect data and data will network to other data sources. Sensors will regulate the lights, temperature, audio, video, and security and safety in an environment. A voice interface with cell phones or PDAs or brain wave readers will communicate with the systems. In 2004 NASA announced that its scientists are working on such a technology "subvocal speech" recognition.

"In preliminary experiments, NASA scientists found that small, button-sized sensors, stuck under the chin and on either side of the 'Adam's apple', could gather nerve signals and send them to a processor and then to a computer program that translates them into words. Eventually, such "subvocal speech" systems could be used in spacesuits, in noisy places like airport towers to capture air-traffic controller commands, or even in traditional voice-recognition programs to increase accuracy," according to a March 2004 NASA press release.

Long before 2059, this technology will be improved and contained or worn in a "necklace" to control computers. Then computer control will require thinking the words not saying them, and it will no longer require fingers for input. It will no longer be necessary to carry heavy laptops or own a desktop computer. In 50 years, the Millennials will be 58 to 77 years old--by then they would have made an incredible impact on he world. Technology, politics, water scarcity and energy are the major issues that forged their world. As leaders, they reengineered education and took it from the current model developed for the industrial nation to one for a technological global economy. The Millennials are now winding down from leadership positions and looking to retirement. What was their world like?

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Future Career Technology

Education Instructional Programs Many of the new careers and jobs in 50 years have not been invented yet. In 2059, the list of CTE instructional program titles will look like something from today's science fiction; however, those programs will be the instructional programs to train students to compete, perform and survive in the global economic system. Technological progress has had a major impact on the planet and its future. After reviewing what's proposed on "Future for All"--a Web site about technology and society--there are many possible new titles for CTE programs:

2059 CTE Completer Programs:

* Virtual World Design and Management

* Transportation Engineering: Smart Highways and Self-Driving Cars

* Computer Engineering; Intelligent Machine Design

* Managing Self Healing Computer Systems

* Nanotechnology in Science, Engineering and Medicine

* Propulsion Systems Engineering and Maintenance

* Aeronautics and Flying Cars Technology

* Biology: Organ Growing, Bionic Implants, Personalized Drugs

* Hydroponic Food Growing

* Alternative Energy Management

* Megatropolis: Developing, Infrastructure, Security, and Social Harmony

* Intelligent Materials/Intelligent Fabrics Management

* Planetary Terraformation and Ecosystem Manipulation

* Robot System Design and Analysis

* Health Occupations: Designer Bodies-Designer Babies

* Social Sciences: Robotics Partner

* Robot Medicine

* Intelligent Homes--Building Systems

* Transport Systems Operations

* Marketing in Virtual Worlds

Elective Courses might include:

* Neuroscience: Neural Pathways and Computer Design

* Physics: Nanotechnology and Custom Molecules Design

* Intelligent Materials

* Universal Communications

* Chinese as a Second Language

What Witt CTE Classrooms Lock Like iv 50 Years? …

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