2016-02-05_16-30-51

Speculative Futures in Education

It was nice to be connected to The Teachers Guild this afternoon by Dan Ryder. The post I was alerted to dealt with Futures Thinking and had a subtitle of:

We should include futures thinking in schools to help students better anticipate and influence change and to prepare for their future.

Speculative Futures in Education

The topic of futures thinking and specifically the field of Design Fiction (DF) are close to my heart and I realized after commenting on the post mentioned that I had not posted a workshop Speakerdeck from last summer on the topic.  The workshop focused on how we might catalyze and provide pathways for change in education through launching speculative futures incubators in schools.

There is much going on in my Speakerdeck with video so will post the full videos from the workshop in full.

Microsoft: Productivity Future Vision

I like this video quite a bit and as an educator it struck me vividly as I can easily see a near future student’s worklife emerging on the screen. As I watched, I continued to ask “what are we doing in schools to cultivate the dispositions she is exhibiting — to deal with her workworld…..” This video is a wonderful example of design fiction — a creation that suspends disbelief in the future narratives we so often hear about for future work worlds for our students in a well crafted story and video. I wrote this about the video for our schools blog:

How should a school in downtown Chicago prepare kids for the future? When Microsoft Research thinks to the near future they see a world where students, researchers, farmers and business people are not only working together but connected across the world through an internet of things (a network of physical objects or “things” embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connected through the internet.)

Although this video is essentially a “design fiction” the story it tells envisions a world to come, based on technologies that are already here. According to Mike Riley, moreInternet of Things Author and Director of Network Administration at GEMS World Academy- Chicago,

“The technologies in this video already exist, just not yet in this form factor. The students here will not only be the young researcher shown in the video someday soon, they will design the systems she is using….”

At GEMS World Academy -Chicago, we know that in a rapidly transforming world, success in further education, employment or society requires individuals to have the ability to see learning everywhere. Today’s students must possess the skills of intuition and have the dispositions necessary to research, design and innovate in mobile and project-based learning experiences. Cultivating these dispositions takes bold, new visionof education and a core belief in what’s possible. Our Students are living our vision of education daily. Whether engaged in an inquiry project that blends music, science and writing, re-mapping the city to make it a better place on a Field Study, or engaged with peers around the world in Connected Learning, we are preparing students now, for the future they will create in the coming years.

Fantasy prototypes and real disruption

The second video clip is a tenacious and as we know true – to – life oration from Bruce Sterling at NEXT13.

A note from a short post on the talk I wrote outlines a bit of my interest.

Though Sterling situates a role for design fiction in the disruptive innovation/innovators landscape (for a VERY talented crowd at NEXT13 ) he does much more in this talk.  His call for a networked civil world is stunning, his scolding questions to the crowd about the facile nature of innovation and humanity even more so.

Interested?

If you are interested in continuing a conversation on DF and education, please do reach out. I would love to hear your thoughts.

More on Design Fiction and Prototyping the Future in another post.