For the past year and a half the Future Trends Forum has been a kind of ongoing, public experiment. It’s given us a chance to explore the possibility of using synchronous, videoconference-based discussion to probe the future of education and technology.
And by “us” I mean over 1,500 participants, plus more than 60 brilliant guests. This is definitely a collective or collaborative initiative.*
I’m delighted with what we’ve achieved so far on so many levels, from learning multiple seminars’ worth of information to making new friends to seeing some people leverage their participation into career benefits.
Let’s take things a little further. I’d like to try another experiment, next week, and want to invite you to partake.
Instead of having a guest, or me presenting on trends, let’s reflect – as a group – on the future of education and technology.
I propose that we structure that hour of reflection by collaboratively reacting to recent developments in education and technology. By “recent” I mean the past two weeks. By “developments” I mean anything you deem capable of having an impact on the future of education, preferably described in a news story (on the web, in print, podcast, video, etc).
So before next Thursday, try to pick a story that you find significant. It could be about learning management systems, or college enrollment, or gender and tenure, VR content, the Trump administration, college athletics – you name it, and you choose. If you can’t find such a story, don’t worry; just get ready to respond to the stories other people bring. As usual, Forum participants can respond through a variety of mechanisms, depending on your technology setup and comfort level (chat box, text question, video, or Twitter).
For my part, I’ll have plenty of such stories to get the ball rolling. After all, the July Future Trends in Technology and Education report should appear just about Wednesday or so. Loyal FTTE readers will have a ton to choose from – 54, as of this morning, in fact. And almost a dozen Forum participants and guests have agreed to show up with stories in (videoconferenced) hand.
What do you think? I hope you’ll join us for what we might call an experiment in collective intelligence.
*I’ve been talking about the importance of discussion and collaboration for getting at the future of education for a while, along with the crucial nature of these practices for us all in an age of political polarization and crisis. This has also become a major part of my work. I’ll have more to say later.