Saturday, January 26, 2008

Left Brain Right Brain Cycle

During Dave Solon's Twenty Minutes for Tech podcast interview with Jim Gates he mentioned two teachers that were interviewed and quoted in The World is Flat 3rd edition. Dave said he would like to see that part but he had a 2nd edition. Well I had a 3rd so I sent him a copy of the two page section with the interview. That got me to reviewing this book again and thus the reason for this post. In skimming thought the first chapter I came across two passages that really struck me having just read and discussed Dan Pink's book The New Mind. Here are the gist of the passages.

In the first passage Friedman discusses the product development cycle. Every new product begins with basic research, then applied research,.....then continuation engineering in order to add improvements. His point was that each of these phases of production is specialized and neither India or China do not have a "critical mass of talent" to handle this production cycle. Well that lead me to Pink, if the US economy is to prosper we better keep churning out those right brain thinker, because there soon will be a large enough mass of talent to take over the production of large scale products.

The second was a quote from a mayor in China. "Today, the US, you are the designers, the architects, and the developing countries are the bricklayers for the buildings. But one day I hope we will be the architects".

Then I started thinking of my experience of becoming obsolete. I came to think of a grad course I was taking in web design. We learned html code and had to create and post a web page. The page had to include a bio (including different size and styles of text), pictures and links to sub page within our page. Boy a whole semester grad class on an operation that anyone can now do in about 5 minutes. Naturally there were steps to the development of these canned pages. Programs like FrontPage that you could, and still can use. Then the development of open source software to use, and so on. But at that time we were really cutting edge, now in order to be called that you need to be creating widgets or java applets for us left brainers to use in their canned point and click web pages.

1 comment:

Dave Solon said...

Lee -

This just goes to show that we (just like our students) must become 'life-long learners' and be willing to incorporate past learning experiences to build on new ones.

I also think it makes the case for no longer just 'learning the content,' but for the case of teaching the students 'how to learn.'

We, as educators, must help to incorporate 'life-long learning' experiences into the everyday teaching of our students. If we aren't doing that, like Jim says in the podcast, we are 'robbing our students.'