Do you sometimes feel like you have just been through a time warp and are not quite ready to come back to reality as yet? Having experienced the mOOC and the SP4Ed, I was on cloud nine for the 2 weeks and just when I was beginning to stay up till 11pm and reflecting and dreaming about the future the course came to an end. From tweeting about future scenarios, I have to shift focus to the nuts and bolts of life now and it is hard. My alternate world with technologically savvy classrooms and individualised lifelong learning had almost become a reality.
Which, got me thinking about this whole process of learning to tell a story. Peter Schwartz talks about getting inside the head of the executives at Shell and giving them alternative versions of the future with pizzazz and innovation in his presentations. Of course the stakes I deal with are not in anyway comparable to an oil company, but I am in the business of opening up the future for the next generation and therefore I need to tell the story with even more care and do my research well.
I hail from a little town in India, nestled amongst the Himalayas. It is small. it is remote and it is has grown and developed into a town where education is valued. This was not the case when I was growing up, so I had to go many miles away to a boarding school started by the British( which I absolutely loved!) and since then I have travelled the world and the seven seas. Twenty years ago the world was a different place and I remember tapping away the keys and looking at this green screen of a Windows 3.1. Then I bought my first computer in Hong Kong in 1994 and thought I had landed on the moon. Growing up in India, I had learned to give exams and flip books but my real learning began in the changing world of computers. Suddenly, the world was accessible to me and I could not have enough. I am a true product of a changing world and changing with it has been so exhilirating! Suddenly everything is possible: do I want to link in with the University in this little town and help them set up open learning course? Do I want to work with the Syrian refugee children to help build their future? Do I want to take my school on an exciting learning journey with digital technology? Sure I do!
The brilliance of this course has been to realise that everyone has a story and everyone dreams; even scenario planners for big companies. In fact not only is painting a picture of the future encouraged, it also comes with some instructions. I lay out the scenarios that I have researched from the DEANZ case study, the NMC Horizon Report and the Knowledgeworks Learning in 2025 and realise that the stories are well told. It is about capturing the imagination and weaving the possibilities into the dreams and hopes for tomorrow. (Yes, I notice how I focus on only the positives and leave out the negatives sometimes 🙂
My shift in focus has been from planning everything to the ‘T’, to playing around with different versions of the future; I can’t control all the factors, trends and uncertainties but I can allow my mind to conjure up different scenarios. The bizarre but interesting discovery is that my future has happened because I wove stories and believed in them. Along this journey as an educator I have allowed others to also believe that anything is possible. It is exciting to discover that I am responsible for shaping the future; my beliefs, desires, hopes and dreams are mirrored by many and the journey just keeps getting better. I look forward to what is just around the corner, one step at a time.