The utopian/dystopian futures of online learning: New book chapter

by | Sunday, September 11, 2022

I was invited to wrote a chapter for an edited book titled “The future of online education,” edited by Stephen Paul McKenzie, Lilani Arulkadacham, Jennifer Chung and Zahra Aziz. It was an opportunity for me and my co-authors Melissa Warr and Ben Scragg to engage in some seat of the pants futures thinking, some what-if speculation. As we write in the chapter

As a heuristic for exploring the future of online learning, we explore two possible futures, each at an end of a dystopian-utopian continuum. Specifically, we consider how human-centric, pedagogical values that include access, equity, student agency, creativity, and engagement might play out in these contexts. These contrasting futures, while imaginary, position us on the very real cusp of forking paths where the decisions we make now will have ripple effects on the yet-to-be-realized future of our teaching and learning institutions and systems.

It was a super-fun chapter to write, partly because we were given the freedom to speculate on possible futures, to extrapolate from trends we were seeing in the world around us, and to push them to the limits.

Abstract and citation below the image:

Abstract: During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, online learning became mainstream, enabling schools to continue operation even with students and teachers physically separated. In this chapter, we extend the trends we observed in pandemic online learning to describe two possible futures for online learning, one dystopian and one utopian. We argue that what differentiates these futures is less about the technological tools used and more about the broader processes, systems, and culture embedded with online learning. We call for deliberate reflection on the dynamic relationship among technological tools, processes, experiences, systems, and culture as we shape the future of online learning.

Mishra, P., Warr, M., & Scragg, B. (2022). Two possible futures of online learning. In S. P. McKenzie, L. Arulkadacham, J. Chung and Z. Aziz. (Eds). The future of online education: Advancements in learning and instruction. Nova.

Note: The image at the top of the page was created by me using 2 images created by Dall E 2 (the AI image generation software).

A few randomly selected blog posts…

Update III

David Jiles Ph.D.'s book is no longer available on the Lulu.com website. Another example of delete and hope the world will forget that I didn't do my homework. See here and here for more on this issue.

Presentation/Workshop at Twente

I just completed a presentation at the symposium organized by the Department of Curriculum Design & Educational Innovation, University of Twente. Later this afternoon I will be conducting a workshop on creativity and the TPACK framework. The slides for both the...

Information is beautiful

Anybody who knows me (and/or reads this blog) will know of my love of issues related to representation (see all postings under that category). So I am always looking out for new and interesting representations. An lovely example sent to me by Patrick Dickson is...

Changing rules for tenure

I discovered a blog on academia called Lumpenprofessoriat. It links to some cool videos made by supporters of Barack Obama, but more importantly it has some thought-provoking postings and links to other blogs around the issue of academic tenure. One of the most...

Bad poetry time: Clerihews

Just when you thought I had run through all the bad poetry I can spew (see here for my palindromic poems) here is another set of poems I had all but forgotten about. A few years ago I got hooked into writing Clerihews. For the uninitiated: The clerihew is a bit of...

Of certainty & doubt

The NYTimes has a op-ed piece today by Max Blumenthal about an obscure letter Eisenhower wrote to "Robert Biggs, a terminally ill World War II veteran." Biggs was worried by ambiguity and uncertainty he seemed to observe in president Eisenhower. He wrote that he:...

Finding the answers to What, When, & Where

Finding the answers to What, When, & Where

Three important questions that we often seek answers for are: WHAT is it?WHEN should we do it?WHERE should it happen? Turns out these questions can be answered just by replacing just one letter—namely replace "W" with "T." Here they are: ThatThenThere Simple. Here is...

Amruta Patil’s Family Album

A few weeks ago I had featured Nina Paley, animator and story teller. I just discovered another amazing talent: graphic artist Amruta Patil. I got know Amruta through the desi blog ultrabrown which recently featured an interview (Amruta Patil and Kari: A short Q&A)...

Analyzing political debate

Political debates are heavily analyzed - by pundits and laypeople alike. I had my own minor visual contribution to this discourse through this WordMap/Cloud of the third and final debate between McCain and Obama . Such wordmaps are fun to create and see but are not...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *