mandag den 11. februar 2013

Week 2. Somehow we are living in the future right now. Somehow not.

Friday in the end of EDC week 1,  I was on my way. Two hours in the train between Bruxelles and London. I knew I otherwise would have difficulties catching up with the EDC stuff for the entire week 2, so I had downloaded all the movies and articles. In that way I did not depend of internet acces.

Sitting in the train watching the videos, I felt quite familiar with the future worlds described there. I mean, in the videos they had a more advanced design for their screens (even my daugther said "Hey that´s a cool iPad) and some better 3D, but I didn´t see anything that surprised me.

I use my passbook on the iPhone to keep my e-tickets. The first thing I do when I arrive to my hotel room (or at home) is to get online. Doctors and many other groups coorporate and collaborate online. Games have got more and more realistic and make you feel you´re inside the game and not in front of a screen. In 2011 the british The Gadget Show builded an ultimate Battlefield simulator and got it tested by a war veteran, who found it very realistic and close to the real life experience. The Full version of the show can be seen on

So I felt, that if this was the future, then I am living in the future right now. Arriving to the Cumberland Hotel certainly kept me in this feeling. I was being welcomed by a big glass screen when I entered their white, light, clean and "futuristic" lobby.


Next to reception I saw this big poster: 

So here we are. Welcome to the digitale life. I love it :)

The reason for me to be in London that weekend was the BETT show. It´s a huge arrangement with workshops, talks and fairs. All about how technology can power learning. It was great. So many possibilities in so many levels. If you have any possibility to go there next year, you should.

Off course I couldn´t help wearing the EDC MOOC glasses and look out for dystopian and utopian metaphors. Quite fun and interesting thing to do there :)   And of course I could see a lot of utopian ideas, I mean that´s like the purpose of BETT, I guess. 

But underneath a lot of it, was the thoughts of control. How can you control what the students do with the internet? How to lock the students to the parts of information which you want them to see and keep them away from the rest? 
In the train I have had time to read the first 30 pages of Little Brother. And in my daily work as a teacher I feel this abnorm need of control as well. I do not agree with it, but it´s like the mostly used metaphors in discussions about technology and schools are about possibilities to cheat and then of course "The dangers of the internet". 
These metaphors have resulted in an industry of control of the  teachers and students behavior on the web. A control in such a level, that every week, during normal class work, we are stopped by the filters. So pretty often the search for information is a part of the homework. 

I do realize this is even worse for us as an international school, as the filters have to stop any combination of letters, that could form a dirty or "dangerous" word in any of our 8 languages. That´s a lot. And for some (security?)reasons many social networks are blocked as well. So sometimes it's a little difficult to work with all the possibilities of the technology, because everything has to be seen in the light of the potential danger. 

This brought me to make this little cartoon as my artefact for the second EDC MOOC week. I named it: Dystopian metaphores and their influence on teachers possibilities.

Credits for the pics in the movie:
Pile of sand
Light bulb:
Pupils in class:
Forbidden sign 1:
Forbidden sign 2:
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