Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Futuristic view of education - plus ca change...

As some of you will realize and many of you know, I am a devoted, long time reader of science fiction.   It is often the case that science fiction writers glom onto issues and perspectives before the rest of us.  They also often illuminate those issues.  Reading  Pat Cadigan's story - quotes below - sent me on a trail.  First the questions, then the observation, then a poke at all of us as we overlook how little we notice and how little somethings change. 

 Will "cutting edge" technology applications, e.g., artificial reality, be used most to replicate current educational practices - complete with their limitations - for years to come? Or to change teaching and learning in fundamental ways? It usually takes human beings much longer to devise new ways of USING new technologies effectively to meet fundamental essential human needs than the most zealous advocates expect or hope. Science fiction authors often embed their own beliefs about how mundane, fundamental aspects of society are likley to change in the near or far future - and some of them believe that we will long remain bounded by our inability to reconceive teaching and learning, and by the very slow changing essential predilections of humans as learners. 

"Exhaustive studies have proven conclusively that orientation is best accomplished in very familiar and mundane surroundings that don't distract from the essential information to be imparted."
Ten million years of evolution and technology and the best anyone can come up with in artificial reality --where anything is possible -- is a standard office situation."

Pat Cadigan  Tea from an Empty Cup: Issue 1 - Page 108 Pat Cadigan - 1999 - 256 pages - Preview

1 comment:

  1. Interesting choice of text. I haven't read that Cadigan since it came out.

    Boy, does that office quote get people seething... and who sees beyond it?


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