Telepathic teaching

Last year I was interviewed by WISE on the present and future of educational technology. I expressed my frustration with the limited impact that digital platforms had achieved within mainstream education and wondered how they would respond when it would be possible for students to “routinely connect information systems directly into their amygdala”.


Surely, the idea of being able to access the internet and receive uploads of content directly into our brain is the stuff of science fiction portrayed in films like “The Matrix” or the Gerry Anderson TV series that I grew up on as a child, Joe 90.


Earlier this week an international team of scientists demonstrated what they call the first direct brain-to-brain communication, sending words between two people thousands of miles apart over what was effectively the internet, bringing the concept of direct to brain learning a step closer.



I think it’s not unreasonable to imagine that this technology combined with the expected exponential performance increase in digital processing systems will have developed significantly by 2030, i.e. the year that most children entering primary education this year will leave full time education.


My question therefore is, what are we doing to prepare our children and indeed our education systems for a future that might look like this?


Banning smartphones seems like fiddling while Rome burns against this background but it’s not simply the technological advances that I’m thinking of here but the ethical decisions that these children will need to make to protect their future.


gbm-faceGraham Brown-Martin is the founder of Learning Without Frontiers (LWF), a global think tank that brought together renowned educators, technologists and creatives to share provocative and challenging ideas about the future of learning. He left LWF in 2013 to pursue new programmes and ideas to transform the way we learn, teach and live. His book, Learning {Re}imagined was recently published by Bloomsbury/WISE and is available now.