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EDUC 3610: Wikimedia Speculative Theory Forum

Rather than read about conventional ways of using wikimedia in education, we are going to look to the opportunities of 'speculative fiction' for collaborative world-building - and for developing critical literacies while re/imagining educational 'realities' and futures.


'What if…? What might the future of education and learning' look like?

The aim of this collaborative project is to, in small groups, to think about possible 'educational futures’ and/or the impacts of technology, ecology, and/or other social events.

How might we examine current trends or states-of-affairs in the world today (technology-driven, political, environmental, etc) and take a look at current trends in education, teaching/learning, pedagogy, policy, technology use, and media culture - and then 'extrapolate' to imagine possible future educational 'realities'? How does 'speculative' educational theorizing help us think critically about the present?

What will ‘teaching’, ‘schooling’ or ‘learning’ look like? What will be the role of technology in learning? What will be the fate of (current) institutions and professional roles? How might innovations in AI (artificial intelligence), virtual reality (VR), or other tools reshape schooling and/or learning outside of schools.

Production 6

In small groups (4-5 people), use the models/resources from class to imagine a future or alternative world via 'science fiction' world building.

To begin, you need to identify the larger/over-reaching problems facing education, schools and youth today – and then consider a future “state of affairs” in relation to current problems, challenges, or opportunities.

Tip: Consider the conditional term: “What if …?”

Tip: Revisit concepts like Extrapolation, Novum, and Intensification -- and think about how these ideas work in film or literature (e.g., Handmaids Tale, Matrix, Black Mirror, etc).

Extrapolation: What will contemporary phenomena look like in the future - given the pace of technological, social, and political change?

Intensification: What if [x] gets worse/better or becomes drastically more intense?

Tip: You can start anywhere or with anything: with a technology (e.g., VR, Siri, 'robots', surveillance, bio-genetics, AI, social media, algorithmic culture, Mars colonization, etc) - or you can start with significant pedagogical and social justice challenges (diversity, inclusion, equity, and so on).

Consider critical literary tools that have been used throughout the history of utopian/dystopian art and literature: satire and irony.

Optional Genres In constructing your alternative or future world, consider using – or mixing – genres like:

• Wikipedia ‘encyclopedic’ mode for telling your story through Wiki discourse conventions.

• A wiki museum of ‘found artefacts' (e.g., present documents like memoir/diary, maps, photos, news-clippings, text messages, social media posts, etc ‘taken’ from that alternative history/future).

• Literary Modes: Third Person or embodied First-Person narrative accounts (e.g., through ‘the eyes’ of people living in this imagined world).

• Mix up these genres – or devise variations – or figure out a new way to present your world/story.

Counterfactual History Option: A historical ‘what if’ (twisting the past) that changes our present (= we live in an alternative timeline in the present). The most famous counterfactual historical point of departure: “What if Nazi Germany won WWII”? Consider an educational counterfactual (e.g., What if Edgerton Ryerson opposed, instead of promoted, cultural genocide through the residential schooling systems?)

Formal Expectations

Use the world-building techniques (extrapolation, Novum, etc, covered in class) to help you imagine a future/alternative world of education and learning.

• Genre: See above. Up to you as a group to use one or more genres - or decide on how to mix up genres.

• Length: 600 words/ish per person. Add some images that show aspects of the world, or reflect key themes, technologies, ideas, etc.

• If connecting with, or extrapolating on, course educational theory is useful, then please use readings to inform your vision.

• Ensure that your world-building also helps us think critically about the present, e.g., cautions us to perils embedded in our present world/system, and/or invites readers to speculate on what needs to be done in the present to arrive at a better (ethical) possible future.

• Have some fun! And don't worry if it gets weird, out there, that is fine.

'== // Groups //' ==

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