Fear versus promise

movie clubDuring our movie club on Monday night, there was one comment that really resonated with me. We had spent a lot of time talking about the fear and dystopia of the sci-fi genre and even talking about why humans innately fear the idea of robots who resemble humans physically, like in “Westworld” or the cyborg in “We only attack ourselves”, yet none of us found “Gumdrop” scary. We linked this to our love of fairgrounds and that controlled fear, it’s scary but we know we are safe so it’s ok to be scared. Helen then said something which I think might have been a quote from someone else but it just seemed to switch on a light with me, “… in contrast to the promise of the digital.”

Day to day in my job as a learning technologist I deal with the promise of technology and the disheartening of fear, not the fear of A.I.s becoming sentient or of the dystopia caused by technology, but just fear of technology or possibly more specifically of the change it brings.  This week I am attending an information session to update myself and other learning techs about the project the university has begun to bring lecture capture in for the start of next semester. this means that all lectures will be recorded for the first time so that student can use the recordings as revision material and the lecturers can use the material for teaching at other points. It’s a big step, though, and rightfully some of the staff involved are scared of being recorded and scared of the impact this will have on attendance. Some feel it would have a negative effect on learning but the one objection which shocked me the most is that people are scared that somehow these recordings would be used to monitor teaching staff. Very “1984”.



TWEET! – Film Festival

During the film festival we all commented on how there is always a corporation behind any “future tech” and I wondered, do we consider Mark Zuckerberg and facebook as matching this corporation image of do we not see him as sinister enough?

Film Festival Thoughts

Memory 2.0

The 2.0 part of this is what struck me the most with this title and indeed the film. In general, the clip felt very similar to a film I saw a few years back “Sunshine of the spotless mind” which I didn’t rate as a particularly good film but the idea of controlling memories about a relationship was a theme in both. In “Memory 2.0” however rather than erasing memories, it was about replaying them and reliving them.
The 2.0 was intriguing, what did the film makers mean to imply by 2.0, and what have the viewers implied by looking at this through their perceived lens. Straight away for me, 2.0 means content generated by the user, so for me, the virtual reality aspect where the protagonist experienced the memories was also where, possibly because of over exposure, where he also contributed to the memories.
My VR lesson on mitochondrial DNA
Again viewing with lenses, and relating to my own work experiences with digital education, virtual reality and memories were a keen “take home”. We do have a virtual reality set up in our office at work and the educational implications of this as a way to engage students in an immersive learning experience is my focus but pushing this one step further into the boundaries and looking at this through the perspective of the film clip, what if students could “relive” classes, not just watch lecture capture, but relive and possible contribute to the content of the memory after the fact? With the chance to learn more, create a greater understanding of the subject matter and then go back to the memories of a lecture and correct or enhance, could this take education and learning to a higher level? Super education or education 2.0?