Week two commentary – the first 2 videos #edcmooc

#edcmooc Week two commentary – the first 2 videos 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)?

In the video called A Day Made of Glass we see a futuristic world where glass interfaces are positioned all over, in schools in place of blackboards, in natural forest parks in front of natural scenery, in surgeon`s operating theatres etc and of course there is the ubiquitous transportable thin clear tablet that both children and professionals have with them everywhere. Information can at a flick of the finger across the screen, be transferred from the portable tablets to other portable tablets and also to the larger permanently positioned glass screens, making collaboration and knowledge sharing possible..as exposited in the neurosurgeons` scenes, where photographic slices of a patient`s brain are exported onto  a holographic image above the patient – visible from either side, as if it were displayed on a thin glass sheet.

Education promotes  playful exploration of virtual images, texts, searches in databases where the search queries are photographs of images of for example a wild animal`s footprint on the dirt track of a forest path. There is a seamless connection between imagery, portable handheld devices and databases attached to larger stationery glass screens that reqct to touch to present and to intake information.

Images are particularly prevalent in this world of knowledge sharing – creating often entertaining templates around real objects. Imagery, texts and the quick finding and sharing of these artefacts is what seems to occupy everyone more than anything else..very convenient for sharing knowledge and finding facts and for creating virtual atmospheric environments of a pleasurable coloured and patterned ambience..but not so good for enabling space to just be without any virtual presence.

I think that to be able to find and share knowledge in such expedient and entertaining ways is indeed very good but there should be place for peace of mind and soulful reflection without it always having to involve a separate digital artefact. That aspect of the ubiquitous and possibly all monitoring presence of digital input and output screens, tablets, cameras is unnerving.

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In the second video called Bridging Our Future we see a similar exposition of a future classroom with children accessing pictures from a database that the teacher is also accessing to display on the larger teaching screen. Their task is to design and build a model prototype bridge. The teacher is able to see on his tablet how each pupil interacts with the media available to the children and what they download and points are given to pupils for accessing various media tasks it seems with different levels of difficulty. Also, the children are given the chance to interact with real engineers who are on the ground at the site of a real bridge. Here a real life problem of designing co ponents to support the design seems to be one of the tasks. Children design ideas by drawing them straight into their tablets and they then are able to send those components to the cadcam machine that makes them. Everything..from communication with peers, real life engineers, communication to cadcam devices is all linked up and enabled from each child`s tablet. Again there is a very quick and seamless interaction between actors in a network and there is likewise an availability of software that can be used to easily transform design idea to concrete prototypes. This is all very good for clarifying ideas, for sharing ideas and for realising them, quickly, efficiently and also for asynchronous working.

It promotes the interdependence of experts in creating a design and the need for communication between those experts. It teaches children how to collaborate. This way of working also  enables the exposition of ideas in various drawing board phases so reflection is enabled. What I don`t necessarily favour is the interaction of the teacher or of the system to grade pupils according to their choices. It presupposes a defined valuation of choices – as if all choices could be understood only finitely – what if there are some creative minds whose way of working and thinking is quite lateral and who need to work in a completely different fashion- their mid way choices and ponderings might not align to any predefined system recognition and accurate evaluation of what they are doing.

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