The problem of promotion of technology exclusively as a positive metaphor can already be experienced in the present: there is a tendency to embrace technology in schools founded on the assumption of effectiveness of technology for learning and not on objective results. From a superficial perspective, if this trend continues in the future we could face a problematic situation of displacement of already effective learning tools and strategies.
Encouraging this trend from the business point of view makes sense, because companies’ survival depends on the need to create new needs for consumers. And yes, glass-tech is the beautiful, fast, clean and effective symbol of utopian lives, but are these lives really utopian? Before we assume the answer is “yes”, critical revision of such an extreme stance should be mandatory as we know that visions of the future tend to reflect the present.
How is education being visualised here? What is being learned and taught?
Education is portrayed in a utopian manner, as we are only shown what’s to be gained from the integration of technology in the classroom. This brings up the activation of salvation-transformative and revolutionary metaphor in ADMOG2. Some examples could be the clean, tidy and almost sterile learning environments shown and the achievement one of educators’ biggest worries : how to get students involved and motivated in class.
Objectively speaking what’s being taught is energy efficiency (classroom) and Natural history (field trip) but what’s being learned can only be quantified on the basis of assumption: when promotion of the effectiveness of the technology in education exclusively reflects the metaphor of salvation, how can we really assess what is being learned?
What is the nature of communication in these future worlds?
As a representation of the cultural belief in technology as salvation for society, communication is instant (reflecting the metaphor of speed), interactive, heavily based on multimedia content and highly effective as the power of technology facilitates it. There are many advantages shown, but not what’s to be lost if we were to rely exclusively on technology to communicate. Corning’s more advanced versions of the tablets we see today dominate ALL human interactions in ALL possible contexts. We are therefore presented with a simple evolution of current trends. I am left asking myself whether the nature of communication replicates the qualities of the technology that delimits it.
Are these utopian or a dystopian visions to you? In what way(s)?
As an educator, these constitute dystopian visions in that essential aspects of communication and learning such as writing, drawing, colouring, physical movement, etc. are left out. Therefore there is actually a metaphor of (destruction present, where technology isn’t attacking but has become too supplanting in society.) The fact that society in general would constantly rely on technology to communicate would be negative for me too, as we are currently able to observe the negative impact can have on people’s ability to focus or engage in conversations without looking at their phones every 5 minutes. We might not be able to have a conversation at this point, as information shoved into us 24/7 might fragment our very cognitive capabilites.