Teens and Technology Predict a Better Future by 2015
It is no doubt that teens gravitate to technology, and as far as young Americans are concerned, a greener future is coming soon.
Powered by technology and fueled by creativity, fundamental change is about to emerge in the electronically connected world they inhabit. Gasoline-powered automobiles, compact discs, and desktop computers are headed toward the technology scrap heap according to a recent survey of American high school students. Their laptops, cell phones and I-pods are entry level tools that, combined with education and creativity, will lead to changes that improve the world.
Teens predict technology will create change by 2015, and these familiar objects will be replaced with newer, better, energy efficient cars and communications equipment. According to teens, developers of hydrogen and electric cars better get busy. The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index, which gauges Americans’ attitudes toward invention and innovation, found that a third (33 percent) of today’s technology educated young adults predict that gasoline-powered cars will be obsolete by the year 2015.
The tech savvy teens are used to toting phones that let them access the Web, text and download tunes. Laptops and a flash drive are their heavy duty home to dorm or classroom computing equipment. And it’s no surprise that more than one in four teens (26 percent) expect compact discs to be obsolete within the next decade. Another one in five (22 percent) of the teens predict desktop computers will be a thing of the past within the next ten years.
Teens Believe Global Issues Have Solutions
Using cell phones to download music, facebook to keep in touch and blogs to communicate ideas is fun, but these American teens are optimistic that the creativity unleashed by computers and other modern technology can help solve important global issues. Students need to learn to use techology in engaging ways to develop higher level thinking skills.
Accessing international communities via the Internet is second nature to these digital learners. The young adults who took the survey are confident that just about any crisis facing the world can be solved by working together to apply new technologies and innovative thinking to global concerns.
Their faith in innovation and invention is a hopeful sign. On clean water, 91 percent expect technology to step in and create a solution. A whopping 89 percent of the teens think that world hunger will end by 2015. Disease eradication (88 percent), pollution reduction (84 percent) and energy conservation (82 percent) are all within the realm of being history with the application of creative new applications that these electronically connected teens will help develop.
Technology and Change Is Their Comfort Zone
“Perhaps more than any preceding generation, today’s young people are completely comfortable with rapid technological change,” Lemelson-MIT Program Director Merton Flemings said.
“Teens’ belief that science and technology may hold the answers to our biggest societal challenges is encouraging,” Flemings added. Technology coupled with teen creativity creates a winning team. Who would have predicted that cell phones, I-pods and laptop computers would have such far reaching effects?
Will Education Be Able To Keep The Pace?
The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index found that these teens believe they have developed some of the critical skills that will be needed to address these issues. More than three out of four teens (77 percent) believe they have learned problem-solving skills well while in school.
They also feel prepared to work in teams (72 percent), think creatively (71 percent) and lead others (61 percent). However, they fall short when it comes to budgeting money. Only 32 percent of teens said they feel they learned that skill well while in school.
With teens like these working on solving the world’s environmental and conservation issues, you begin to believe that the 2015 predictions really have a chance to become reality.