More questions than answers – what happens next?
When the future discovers tracks of 2010 life, what will they see? What things are we doing today that will have survive into perpetuity?
My 83 year old mother often remarks that she wonders how today’s digital information will translate into the next generation. She refers to the books on her shelf and the photos in her albums and on her walls and comments that they have survived the test of time.
With the pace of change, the increase in digital records, how will we be able to transfer our knowledge to future generations? We are already seeing technologies become defunct in very short time spans – my family movies were recorded on 8mm films and are almost useless as the equipment to play such images is rare. Even the humble VHS has been outdated within 20-30 years of its’ innovation. My children only 14 and 17 years old had their first steps recorded on VHS and we have transferred them to DVD in an attempt to keep up. I wonder how many formats they will need to be transferred to so that their grand children can see them. Will the iMovies of today be available to our descendants?
My mother is an amateur writer – small articles for newsletters and the like, but quite valuable to me. They express her thinking and ideas, however, being an early adopter of computer technology, much was typed up and stored on black 5.25” floppy disks using software that is long gone.
The photos of my ancestors that take pride of place on my living room wall have stood the test of almost a century. The cave paintings of primitive man, structures of Ancient Greece, ancient dramatic works performed by modern man all stand the test of time – what will we leave behind?
Translating this to a common trend in education – ePortfolios, how do we structure these so that they are recoverable in the future? Can we future proof our material?