In week two of e-Learning and Digital cultures mooc.
In this week’s learning:
This week, we move to more future-focused visions of technology and education, and explore how utopian and dystopian stories (or ‘discourses’) are shaping our understanding of what is happening now in the sphere of learning technology, and what might happen in the future.
Questions you might try to answer in the discussion boards, on Twitter, or in the form of an image are:
- how is education being visualised here? what is being learned and taught?
- what is the nature of communication in these future worlds?
- are these utopian or a dystopian visions to you? In what way(s)?
Glass is a cool, colourful clinical and sanitised ad film. It is very pleasing visually. The children are shown as self-motivated learners, eager, attentive and highly engaged, which I doubt at their age, is possible. They appear to be very confident and too mature for their age. The content is in built (who created it, built it, linked it, mapped it is still unclear) and is at the touch of their tips. Who manages all this content and information is still unclear. Is there a super computer somewhere?
It is however unclear how the learning happens. Education in this ad is all effortless, fun and play. The teachers and students are very tech savvy and they already know how to use the tablets. There is a lot of visual stimulation with all inclusive content softwares but this has marred the spontaneity and thinking. The tablets/phones have become a crutch – something to lean on to – without which they cannot function and need it even to come up with an outfit!
If this is how the elite society of the future is, where everyone has access to technology and technology is free from glitches, why are the kids still going to school? If learning is blended with everyday acts, going to a school is just not required. The ad shows how in future technology would blend with everyday life, yet the education system would still be in its conventional form – one that has a classroom, teacher and benches.
Even a nature park trip is not without technology it seems. There is the glass between them and the wildlife. When the girls find a footprint of a dinosaur, she uses the glass to find out which dinosaur’s it is. If it had been me, I would have touched to check if it’s still warm. Where is the process of thinking and curiosity and the build-up to find the solution? It is the same with the colour palette. The girl selects blue and the glass immediately comes up with pictures in all different shades of blue.
What are they really learning and how is learning taking place? There is a lot of content and it is easily accessible. But sadly there is no creation. The glass has already done the work for them, all they have to do is access it. I don’t see much thinking and learning happening.
And horror horror, if there is a technical glitch, electricity shortage, if the glass breaks what would they all do? Very dystopian. I could never live in a society with so much dependency on technology.