In week two of E-learning and Digital cultures we move from the past towards the future.
In this week’s learning material we are presented with two videos that are advertising for two well-known companies: Corning Incorporated and Microsoft. Each video is futuristic and provides an insight into what our world might soon look like because of potential developments in technology.
We are asked to evaluate these recordings by answering three key questions:
- 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)?
For those of you who know me, you will know I don’t do sci fi well so futuristic isn’t really my style. My brain just doesn’t work that way but having said that, Corning’s interpretation is exciting to me. I have seen this video several times before and I have to say ‘I love it!’
It represents a world I would choose to live in; one where technology is ubiquitous or omnipresent if you like. Technology is no longer something we need to use or even learn but instead it is a central part of everything we do without thinking. To me this is utopia! We are no longer restricted by physical spaces, locations, boundaries. In terms of education, this seems to present opportunities for learning everywhere…. formal and informally. My passion is technology in education and I could see a world without limits. I was so excited…. but then the bubble burst – dystopia set in!
Not everyone agrees with my passion for technology in education (now don’t start panicking I am an advocate of ‘technology is a tool and one must choose the right tool – I don’t think technology is all things to everybody but I do have to be honest, I love using technology in education).
As I returned to reality I started to remember a conversation I had on the weekend with my in-laws. They seemed quite distraught that people were communicating over technologies such as Facebook and Twitter at the same time as they were having a conversation with a ‘real person’. They felt this behaviour was rude, unacceptable and created problems in our young people, it contributed to social isolation even exclusion.
Attitudes like this are common. Technology has positive and negative attributes and it is true there are still issues around its reliability, privacy, security to name a few. Unfortunately these issues have produced fear (whether it is grounded or ungrounded) in some people within society.
Other doubts started to enter my mind. We covet some of these technologies but our budgets rarely stretch that far. To be utopian, ubiquitous or omnipresent the technology must be available and affordable. Costs of the technology are one thing but there are also ongoing costs like bandwidth, data storage and of course software upgrades. Last week we were challenged to think about our choice in the use and adoption of technologies and I think it is fair to say most agreed we don’t’ have a choice.
Earlier I said I believe technology is a tool so I won’t get into a pedagogical discussion here but I know many of you would also be saying….what is the pedagogy behind the use of technology. So I will leave this post with a final thought – the use of technology in education in this video seemed effortless – the technology was available whenever it was required. It produced visual stimulation and could easily appeal to all learning styles but to be effective it requires a professional teacher well versed in learning styles, modern teaching methodologies and a good understanding of learning theories such as pedagogy, peeragogy and heutagogy.
Normally I would embed the videos but good old wordpress doesn’t seem to like it so here they are as links. …. happy viewing
A day made of glass http://youtu.be/jZkHpNnXLB0
Productivity future vision http://youtu.be/a6cNdhOKwi0