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The future

Technology featured significantly in students' views of the future. Many perceived the advancement of technology as negative, especially in terms of making people "lazier". One student commented: "With technology, it seems as if things are automatically done for you... you won't go the extra mile to do things for yourself." Another said: "... the Magic Pen ... will tend to switch people's brains off during class because it can download the information given during a lesson. Students and/or people won't have work they produced themselves."

Other perceived disadvantages of the increased use of technology were that people would become less literate, less able to communicate at a personal level, and socially isolated or disjointed. The convenience of technology was seen by some students as encouraging obesity.

At the same time, the importance of gaining information technology (IT) skills, and "keeping up" were widely recognised. Concerns were expressed about how to ensure everyone becomes technology-literate in the future, and that opportunities to learn not be constrained by lack of access to technology.

Technology apart, some students commented on the rapid rate of change, believing the things they do today won't be around in the future. They wanted to learn more about the future, and what to expect. Some felt that career skills would become more specific; others that people would be likely to change their careers at least once. One student perceived the future as "artificial", and felt that "practical skills" were declining. Another commented that it would be harder to challenge "accepted patterns" (presumably social).

A student from a year 7 to 8 group was more worried about terrorist attacks. "In the future we could have the power to fly in the air, so we don't have to use airplanes. It's a bad thing because bad people will go into a different country to kill people."

Published on: 20 Sep 2007