Others, looking farther down the road, foresee new kinds of human relationship frowning out of genetic and biochemical experimentation and even, eventually, direct brain-to-brain communication. One implication is clear: citizens of the future will need to understand and be able, to use a rapidly growing array of new technologies the technologies that extend the individual’s and society’s communication capacities.
Two fundamental questions need to be addressed. What are the social and technological developments now in progress or anticipated during the century that has important implications for the communication education needs of tomorrow’s citizenry? In the light of these developments, what communication competences will be needed in the twenty-first century? These are global questions. Let us first agree that today’s communication education has achieved only limited success. Some of our learners, all too frequently, lack real proficiency, in such basics as reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical viewing. It is known that college score tests have been declining owing to lack of fundamental literacy. World-wide literacy battle is being lost.
So, as we look forward to the educational needs of the future, we must acknowledge that we have not met adequately the educational needs of the present. Sometimes theoretical knowledge is there in candidates but the knowledge that is not communicated and translated into action remains largely impotent. Communication overload creates great many complexities in communication environment.
The proliferation of information leads to greater fragmentation of information Fragmentation creates islands of expertise not easily bridged. Robert Hutchins identified a growing dilemma when he observed about a quarter of century ago that the intelligibility of our messages has declined while the means of communication have improved. And all this is happening within a context of social change that seems to be accelerating out of control. Consider the computer. The capacity of computers to store, organize and manage large quantities of information strains the human computer the mind.
The dramatic growth in computer speed and capacity and the great reduction in computer costs continue, seemingly, unabated. In the industrialized worlds, computers are already commonplace in the world of work that will soon be as commonplace in our homes, as telephones or a television set. Clearly computer literacy is emerging educational mandate of our time.
The computer is, of course, one of the many communication-related technologies that are changing the nature and scope of human communication. Of particular concern here are those technologies that are interactive that allow individuals to create and send messages or images as well as receives them. Communication education programmes of the future will, no doubt, continue to reflect the special and sometimes parochial needs and interests of the learners, and of those who manage their learning environments. Communication professionals are expected to have a good grasp on a vast store of general knowledge. The Personal and Social Hazaids of Communication Personnel 1. The citizens of tomorrow will require, .it the very least, the basic communication skills (in their language) that continue to elude many today, namely the skills of effective reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
2. The demands and opportunities of the 21st century will require a higher order of competency that we associate with basic skills. Thinking abilities and communication abilities are inextricably developmentally and functionally. 3. Communication literacy must be drawn from the full spectrum of the communication arts, sciences and technologies. It includes some knowledge of telex, videotext, interactive cable television, satellite communications, video-discs and the whole range of audio-.video-data recording technologies, telephone radio, television and photography, etc.
The 21st century communicators will function in a communication environment replete with both opportunities to be realized and the difficulties to be overcome. It will be a communication-rich environment, offering a bewildering array of communication options, Information overload will always be a problem. Coping with cultural barriers that have been sustained for centuries by ethnocentricity and militant nationalism will constitute a serious impediment to constructive international communicators until one has grasped the points of similarity and congruence.