“The future of education” in #edcmooc

Really, I should be finishing a grant proposal, due Monday. But…#edcmoocing is more fun.

Hardly a small thing we are to contemplate in the second week of #edcmooc. The very future of digital technology and education, no less… Is this a future to look forward to? To dread? Is it coming no matter what we do? Can we controll what’s coming? Will it be recognizable?

Questions humans have worried about since the beginning of time, I suspect.

This week’s films look at ubiquitous technology in a near future, with the most realistic being A Digital Tomorrow, the only one which looks a mundane «warts and all» future where technology is just as capricious and unreliable as we experience it to be today – and, just like today, even the unreliable technology is indispensible.

What makes this interesting to me is the fact that as we take technology into the classroom, and begin to develop didactic methods based on technology, the fact is: sometimes it just doesn’t work. The net goes down, the os crashes, an app update interrupts, or information is mysteriously not presented the way it ought to be because of some strange glitch.

The two ads for Corning and Intel present a «perfect» future, where technology is seamlessly integrated into every part of our lives and just works. This technology is «invisible» in the sense that one does not have to think about it, just use it. This is the way we want our technology, which is what makes the worlds being presented so appealing (at least, at first glance).

Problem is, the world jus’ don’ work like that.

Anyone who has struggled to connect a laptop to a projector has experienced this (usually subject to some version of Murphy’s Law).

This too, is the future of education. Things will not work as desired, usually at the worst possible time.

However, that is not what this week was supposed to be about. It was supposed to be about metaphor, and the use of metaphor in the films and how that relates to education. An opportunity to delve deeper into the dangers of using digitial tools as mere versions of physical objects, allowing us to continue teaching the way we have for centuries insead of exploring new ways of constructing the teacher-student relationship that builds on the potential of the technology.

But Murphy’s Law was more appealing.

Back to that grant proposal.

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