Perspective: Education 2015
Dr. Queena N. Lee-Chua, Ph.D.*
(An edited version of this paper first appeared as”Star Trek Schooling” in i: The Investigative Reporting Magazine 10(4), 21-25, October to December 2004, published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.)
In our introductory computer course in 1983, my friends and I waited impatiently as the technician painstakingly ran our cardboard punch-outs---each the size of regular bond paper---through the machine that occupied a third of the room. Imagine our relief when after 20 minutes, the programmed square roots of several 7-digit numbers did appear.
Today our techie friends proudly display yet another slim cell phone that can extract cube roots (and convert currencies, record concerts, extract emails, among other things). They are initially greeted by polite murmurs of approbation, but soon conversation shifts to other wares---even more portable, elegant, and multi-functional---slated to be on the market in the coming months.
In 2015, just before we turn 50, my batchmates and I will converse through nano-phones dangling from necklaces. Those of us with deteriorating senses will opt for hearing aid-phones embedded in our ears. (Unfortunately, there will still be no medically-approved equivalent of laser eye surgery for audition.) We will be able to conduct business anywhere, as with the click of an electronic pen, infrared keyboards (in several scripts) will appear on any surface. Best of all, we will be able to guarantee that every batchmate---at least those who are still alive---can join in our reunions. Friends on other shores can opt for traditional videoconference, or go cutting-edge with holographic imagery.