ADAPTING TO NEW MINDSETS
Over the next 10 years, most of the six billion people on this planet, represented by over 15,000 cultures, will receive the opportunity to access the Internet through new communications technolo-gies. What they find, will ultimately be up to them.
The interactive Internet practically offers everyone with access unlimited opportunity unprecedented in human history. Because this technology exists, we need to exploit it to learn new ways of thinking in order to do what needs to be done for ourselves, our families, communities, and the cultures we belong to.
One can no longer deny the potential for any one individual, group or community to impact vast numbers of other people in very real ways. As citizens, teachers, and parents, our mindsets must adapt to this new paradigm. But more importantly, we must learn to teach our youth to become self-sufficient learners if they are to fly free above the turmoil of the accelerating rate of change in our modern world.
So, how should you think about new technology when it comes along? What is the true meaning of technology as it relates to you, your family and community?
In a nutshell, technology – especially the Internet, is accelerating all aspects of life and our choice is to align ourselves with this force that is much greater than us. If we accept that the Internet and the Web are both a method for generating better ideas to parent our children for them to make the right choices and to find the right place in life, then it is something that shouldn’t be too hard to embrace.
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When elders and leaders in communities accept their responsibilities to provide, encourage, and instruct their youth to learn new skills online, the door of un-limited global opportunities will open ever wider with some measurable re-sults.
Families and communities must change in order to survive, as they always have. But, with the power that the Internet and Web brings to their fingertips comes a responsibility to first empower their members.
We’re now learning that it is indeed possible to still maintain one’s own cultural traditions while becoming true global citizens, skilled in information retrieval and use and tolerant of the diversity of all human cultures and beliefs.
In today’s world, we are faced with the urgent challenge to adopt Internet use for cultural and economic survival. We must prepare our young. Our youth em-body the future of our cultures and communities. They are the most important ingredient in the mix of things that makes us effective change agents and community leaders in pursuit of meaningful outcomes.
With this said, there is one undeniable trend, which communities yearning to develop themselves fur-ther should look into – the burgeoning variety of free self-directed learning resources with which to-gether with Internet access, enable them to en-gage in inquiry-based, just-in-time learning when-ever the need presents itself.
Powerful search engines which require only a typed question to retrieve specific information in seconds from the world’s knowledge base which is teeming with information resources, services and opportunities now allow us to have a go at improving our lives.
It is now possible for communities who find themselves at the lowest levels of the Internet literacy curve to leapfrog ahead by receiving, on an ongoing basis, the best, free online tools, self-directed learning resources, and practices, for collaboration, networking, educational opportunities, storytelling, cultural ex-pression, and even Ecommerce.
What’s more, self-directed learning resources can easily scale up to impact an unlimited number of persons under any age demographic, once Internet access is achieved. The historical economic and access barriers that have once denied entry to paths towards unlimited community-based self-empowerment disap-pear!
ROLE OF OUR YOUTH
Making a life, while making a living, is as much about creating meaning in our lives as it is about making money. Community elders and leaders cannot ignore their responsibility to help others – one which comes using the unprecedented power of just their fingertips. This is especially true for their young members.
Youth literally embody the future of their com-munities. Accordingly, they must be part of inventing the means by which they will be able to remain as contributing citizens in their communities.
In an information-driven economy, the best timely information possible will be in greatest demand, even as it changes daily. But expectations increase with experience. As people in their own communities – youth, young adults, parents and the elderly gain more experience using the Internet, they will better understand the value of their time as a resource.
In this environment, members with the greatest knowledge gain wisdom using the least investment of time and effort and will be equipped to become more successful in whatever they choose to do. For some, accessing opportunities and services via the Internet can even allow persons to make a living any-where.