Sunday, January 16, 2011

Living in an Era of Innovation

One of the hardest things about innovation is recognizing when it happens. When innovation happens we can say "Well it's not that significant", "It's only a fad", "It was actually done before", "It won't change much of anything", "It's not as good as what we had before", and any other thoughts which we, for some reason, feel the need to diminish or deny the significance of innovation.

Ideas have a life cycle in which they run from the emerging to the new to the contemporary to the traditional to the historic. With the introduction of the smart phone, the cell phone is slipping from the new to the contemporary and, soon, the traditional. In the 1950s one might have been accurate in depicting 3D films as a fad but to think that today, with the new incarnation of 3D movies and television, you would be wrong.

In our life times we are experiencing game-changing innovations comparable to talking movies and color television. The iPad and the development of electronic books and magazines have changed the printing industry forever. Three-D films and TV are here to stay. The long-awaited electric car is now a reality in our lives. Obtaining a personal copy of your DNA sequence and being able to book a flight to outer space are now within the reach of regular citizens.

What are some of the game-changing innovations happening today and which will happen in the near future? Will you and your students be able to recognize innovation when it happens?

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