To go Back or to go Forward? That is the question

There was this storm last night. I get hay fever. And that is the end of the night. So ABC 774 all night and I was there before @SammyJ came in to work.

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So, I have been thinking.

Let us treat this as a thought experiment.

The Covid Pivot – a full two years of education online means something. Historically – what it means is that I ought to return the grant money I received for the project – I love Blended Learning – in 2016. The Project goal? To drag a reluctant academic into:

  • online (too far?) learning
  • blended (better?) learning.
  • And you, dear reader – how do you vote?

To continue the proposition

As a scientist we have evidence of a 2 year experiment. Some thing has grown – its a tree now. So, cant be put back into the seed pod or the jar of seeds that it came out of. What is the shift?

  1. All teachers can teach online.
  2. Students can learn online.

Then in 2022 – we have a new rule: “you have to go back to teach in physical classrooms”. The administrators say – okay we will implement that. But let follow this experiment through.

  1. Some teachers may want to teach online.
  2. Some students may want to learn online.

We address this in this way: On the menu is:

  • Time travel to 2019 – back to the way it used to be or
  • you can travel to 2022 – which we dont know what that is yet. But it will build on 20 and 21. (Any thoughts @elonmusk?)

In effect you have to choose, click on the relevant box marked 2019 – to get access to the air conditioned rooms with Herman Miller chairs with wheels, the labs, the workshops.

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Now If you choose, the OTHER! Aha!

Click on the box marked 2022 – you get access to something else.

  • Discord?
  • Anytime University?
  • Shapeways?
  • Airtable?
  • Notion?
  • Lucidchart?
  • Digital commensality?
  • Growth spurt?
  • Anywhere studio?
  • Pub nights?

This ‘else’ is what has become a wonderland (rabbit hole?) for me. 

That is right pity me: Speculative intellectual pathways on stormy nights!

What do we choose? What do we choose? What do we choose?

Backward or forward?

And therein lies a question.

The future will call us to account – for did we blink*? Or did we do what we inveigle our students to do – be visionary?

*Reference to Cuba. And Castro: “We hadn’t even turned a shade of pink when they started calling us red”.

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By Soumitri Varadarajan

Soumitri lives in Melbourne, Australia - #probonodesign #codesign #sustainability #patientexperience #quantifiedself #mdg

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