Speculative fiction and the future of learning

by | Thursday, November 17, 2022

One of the most fun projects I have been part of was working with authors of speculative fiction around the futures of learning. This was the result of a collaboration with the Center for Science and the Imagination, Slate magazine and New America (supported by the Principled Innovation initiative). Essentially we worked with three acclaimed authors of speculative fiction who wrote stories about their vision of the future of education and learning. Each of these stories was paired with response essays by 3 academic experts who provided their scholarly perspectives on the themes and ideas explored in the stories. In addition, I had got to moderate 4 different webinars, one for each story (with the author and respondent) and one culminating webinar with the three authors. In essence, we got three thought-provoking stories, three insightful responses, and four engaging conversations around a set of powerful ideas. (I provide a sequential list, with links towards the end of this post).

Though the project was done by April 2021, I had secretly hoped for another opportunity to build on this work. That opportunity came with the announcement of the Anticipation 22 Conference at ASU.

We submitted a proposal to the conference a few months back titled: Putting Descartes before the (education) horse:
Speculations on bio-technological evolution, multispecies relationships, and human exceptionalism
(PDF). Honestly, the goal was to find another opportunity to hang out together. Last week, Simon Brown, Shiv Ramdas, Iveta Silova, Katina Michael and I actually got to meet up over zoom and continue the conversation where we had left it off, almost a year-and-a-half ago. You can find the video of our conversation below.



The background

To give some context, this is how we described the project Future Tense Fiction: Learning Futures project

Amidst breakneck technological change, social upheaval, and environmental emergency, we need to rethink learning and education to prepare humanity to meet the challenges of a complex future. This transformation needs to go beyond the walls of the classroom. It should encompass virtual and informal learning environments, information literacy, critical thinking, trust, and community. Learning doesn’t stop at the end of high school, or college; it’s an ongoing process of reexamining and rethinking ourselves, our relationships, our communities, and our physical and social environments. It’s a process that involves constant adaptation to a world in flux. The series explores how learning experiences of all kinds will be shaped by technology and other forces in the future—and the moral, ethical, and social challenges this will entail.

And below is a bulleted list of products that emerged from this project.


On a somewhat separate topic, but related to the Anticipation Conference was a panel on Democratizing Futures organized by the Center for Science and the Imagination. Moderated by my friend Ruth Wiley, the panelists (Laura Cechanowicz, Lauren Withycombe Keeler, Ed Finn and myself) responded to questions put to us by a authors, futurists, world-builders and the audience. This was a great session and the video is given below.

A few randomly selected blog posts…

AACTE Major Forum on TPCK

Matt and I will be at New Orleans in a few weeks presenting at a major forum organized as a part of the AACTE conference. The title of the major forum is When Multiple Technologies Take Learning to a higher level: the technological Pedagogical content Knowledge (TPCK)...

New edited series on Research to Practice

A few months ago I was invited (by the Educational Technology & Management Academy, an Indian educational organization) to write a series of short practitioner-oriented articles for a new educational e-magazine they were starting. The idea was to introduce to a...

What can design do for you?

TPACK involves understanding the capabilities of technology - understanding how we make meaning with it, how we can manipulate it to communicate, engage and teach. I include below an extraordinarily powerful use of media, created with the simplest of tools, one...

Mishra & Hershey, 2004

A few years ago I was invited to be a part of a symposium on etiquette and the design of interactive media (organized by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence). I hosted all the papers and presentations from the symposium (links to which I...

Call: Failure and Creative Risk in Technology-Enhanced Learning

Call: Failure and Creative Risk in Technology-Enhanced Learning

I am excited to announce a call for articles on Failure and Creative Risk in Technology-Enhanced Learning for a special section in the journal Tech Trends, edited by Danah Henriksen, Punya Mishra, Edwin Creely, and Michael Henderson. You can download the the...

Ads in Video Games

A couple of people have emailed me about the Obama campaign inserting advertisements into video games. Check out this Flickr set with screenshots of these advertisements. Most of the press is reporting that these ads show up in just racing games but as these...

Technology Surveys for K12 students

Photo iPad Dream #2 by Lance Shields from Flickr I received an email from one Holly Marich, a doctoral student in our hybrid-PhD program, asking if I knew about any  technology usage surveys her school district can give their K-12 students. I didn't know of one so I...

The rise of TPACK

Matt Koehler just created a webpage that tracks the citations of our original TCRecord article, as reported by Google Scholar, in real time. The reference is as follows: Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new...

Rich TPACK Cases: Great Resource Book

Rich TPACK Cases: Great Resource Book

The TPACK framework is a theoretical framework that seeks to influence practice. And most gratifyingly (for Matt Koehler and myself) it appears to have had a significant impact in that area. That said, the field lacked concrete, rich examples of TPACK in...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

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