Future Fictions: writing our way to the future of teaching

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  1. This was a creative writing workshop on the theme of future teaching led by JL Williams and Natalie Poyser from the Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The brief: to write, in prose or poetry, our visions for the future of our university. So I did. In free verse without stopping. With mistakes and clumsy awkward phrasing. But that is the point, really. We are stumbling and creatively articulating our way forward.
  2. As well as IAD and Education, colleagues came along from Edinburgh College of Art (eca), Talbot Rice gallery, Medical Education, Literature and Information Services. There was an introduction to some sample verse and prose, free-writing to warm us up and then writing and sharing of our work.
  3. Near Future Teaching: Future Fiction
    Near Future Teaching: Future Fiction
  4. We had time to write. We had time to put our thoughts together. Everyone read something out loud. Self-help displays. AI that annoys. Beauticians. Worlds in 2030. Porous prose. Coloured kimonos. Möbius strips of becoming. Disdain. Hadron Collider as an analogy: positive knowing motion, meaning only in motion. Utopian and dystopian. Scenes infested with bugs, plants, and the currency of the realm. Interior design in virtual spaces: Will people travel more or less. Will there be students?
  5. Watch this space for extracts of the work produced which we hope will appear over the next few weeks. Until then, some of Natalie's scenario prompts may give a sense of the event (and if they prompt a response, send us your work!).

  6. It was at that exact moment, on a Tuesday morning, at 9:17am, during the first tutorial of the year, that Lucas Taylor, Adjunct Associate Professor (Temporary, Category B-II-a) finally knew that teaching had changed forever.

  7. "Hello!" said the smooth, hypnotic voice of the young lady on the Welcome Screen. er face was symmetrical, perfect, except for a cluster of dead pixels unfortunately situated in the middle of her right eye. "Welcome to Teaching Week 1! I'm e-Lizabeth and I'll be leading our discussion today."

  8. Si rolled out of bed, still in his pyjamas, and flicked the switch on his UniGram device that he kept on his rickety bedside table. Instantly the opulent book-lined, marble-floored classroom flickered to life all around him, replacing his small, dark bedroom.

  9. "Ow!" yelped Azhia, as she finished the washing up in her shared student kitchen. She rubbed the still-tender patch of skin on her left wrist where the TopLearn tracker for all new students had been implanted the previous week.

  10. Vice-Chancellor Smith rubbed his head as he stared at the data dashboard. He dropped his head to his desk, and, since Anne had finished already for the night and he was all alone, he wept.
  11. Near Future Teaching: Future Fiction
    Near Future Teaching: Future Fiction
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