Utopian & Dystopian Views of Technology
E-learning and Digital Cultures' offered through the University of Edinburgh and Coursera. I tried to say no, I really did. I 'pinned' the tab on Chrome and opened a new section in Netvibes for it, but had no time to look over the material other than the introduction in the first week. I decided therefore, that with my Flat Classroom Teacher Training starting this week, it would be better for me to accept that I cannot do the two courses plus my heavy work load at the moment. So I was a good girl and I 'unpinned' my tab.
But I gravitated back to it this morning because it interests me so. I accept that my engagement can only be limited but I also accept that I do need to engage with it, as it will inform my thinking not only as a educator operating in ever-increasing digital culture, but will also provide some great insight and resources for my actual teaching of this topic.
The first block of the course asks us to look at 'Utopian and Dystopian Views of Technology', which reminds me of one unit I have taught in the past that I wish to resurrect in the near future. It asks learners to explore the question, 'Can we handle our technology?' and asks them to think deeply about whether humanity is really ready for the technology it is creating in an attempt to get them to view technology as more than something that makes our lives 'better' or 'easier'.
Throughout the course of the unit, we examine texts such as 'iRobot', 'When the Wind Blows', 'Frankenstein', 'There Will Come Soft Rains', 'The Matrix: Reanimated' and 'Minority Report'; exploring how advances in technology may not always offer the fruitful future we aspire to. It explores the darker side of technological advances and makes learners consider the impact such advances may have on our futures as human beings.
The short films offered up for consideration for the E-learning and Digital Cultures course will make a welcome addition to this unit and in particular, I really enjoyed 'Bendito Machine III'.