Asking people what they think will happen in the future is always problematic. It is either too difficult a question for most to answer or too easy to get caught up in a Star Trekesque vision of what might be. Intel’s Futurist, Brian David Johnson explains the business of Futurecasting as a mix of social science, computer science, statistical data even a bit of science fiction to give people a context to respond to. However, he also advises that his process begins with people from all walks of life and a LOT of conversation and to some extent, this is what we have been trying to do throughout this blog.
Throughout the stories, we have given you ideas and shown you spaces. Some ideas may be a little far-fetched, and some of the spaces might be a little extreme, but we want you to react to these, and we hope that they might inspire you to think about the future. Any future ideas are welcome, but we are most interested in the next 10-30 years. Changes in this period are likely to be an evolution of how you are beginning to work now so we would love you to consider this and how your learning spaces might evolve. For example, you may do all your active learning online, downloading lectures, taking part in exams, collaborating on group projects and so on – so your University Spaces will need to support this but won’t necessarily replicate it. The social aspects of your spaces may become increasingly important as would the need for a sense of community to ensure you still feel part of a larger organisation where you can meet others, and debate/discuss your ideas. The extreme version of this would mean that Universities might drastically reduce in scale, or entirely change their layout and structure.
Another way to try to predict the future is to examine the past for patterns and the present for early ideas and innovations that are likely to expand. For example, with all the new social learning environment now available students may stay long for something more traditional and formal, or you may find that recent collaborative projects have been so successful that you envisage spaces which are wholly focused on collaboration.
To inspire you to think about your current experience and how it could be we have embedded a short film. This film was made several years ago by anthropology students at Kansas State University and was part of a project, which examined their ‘Vision of Students Today’ and began to explore ideas for the future.
We hope you enjoy the film and leave us some comments here or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we get enough, we will include a poll in next week’s poll launch.
We are excited to hear your ideas.