Better than life …?

Why are the avatars we select for ourselves usually better looking, taller, thinner and cooler than our real selves? My own selected representation is a photograph of myself as a four-year old: I look expectant, a little hesitant, and, I like to think ready for what the world has for me. I sometimes like to animate that image using Crazy Talk and to have a conversation with that ‘me’ about what the future will be like (the present that I have now), and I find that emotional and very strange. If that earlier me could imagine a future I guess that it would be one that was formed in an imagination shaped by cultural influences in my childhood in the 1960s: Tomorrow’s World (archived), and  DoctorWho (regenerated) and more recently Red Dwarf (Better than Life episode) for example. These futures were exciting and frightening, and in many ways idealised, and in the Christmas morning of my imagination I am opening ever more exciting and useful tech. This appears more than the stuff we live by (e.g. electricity, heated homes) and I am wondering if the more prosaic view of technology is lost in our view of the learning future (as in Asimov’s ‘The fun they had‘). The programme Grand Designs projects a view of the future as one which is outlandish, and which jars with our now, as the (creative) person’s imagination made real in, or as, their own homes (the Ideal Home). Which leads me to how we might build and furnish the DeFT project. The term Open Educational Resource (OER) is one that is laden with utility, and perhaps with the mechanics of learning and teaching; it is the ugly baby in the technology beauty contest. What we might need is a parent’s love to see what it might become, to build its confidence in the gadget playground, maybe? To be continued ….

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