Another great panel! It's been awhile since I've been on a legitimately terrible panel. Props to all the people at Arisia, Boskone, Readercon, and others for working so hard (for free) to create communities and keep us coming back for more.
David Friedman, he/him, moderated the panel and if you missed it, I think you can reach out to him for notes. I joined JR Dawson, Morgan Crooks, and Zareh Artinian he/him. Panels like this are meant for authors who want to write about education in the future, but when you get a bunch of educators in one room without the administration, even speculative writers, we are going to talk about the present, the challenges of teaching here and now. And so it was.
JR Dawson, very early on, brought up the topic of educational technology disparities of rich and poor in the Mid-West during the Pandemic, and this became something of a theme of the conversation. David near quoted Gibson, "the future is distribute unevenly."
What we find is that the technology of the now actually has a ton of beneficial attributes; the A.I. revolution of angry robots hasn't quite hit us. But outcomes dictate policy, policy dictates allocation, and allocation is dictated by history. So for the writer of the future, I recommend focusing on this hierarchy. We want a revolution in priorities. But revolutions are not nearly as spontaneous as they seem and can have a long burn, unrecognizable in the moment. We are in the middle of multiple chaotic shifts in education.
It is the opinion of this writer that there is huge opportunity for stories discussing near future outcomes and that they need not all be sci-fi. Harry Potter and magic schools are very popular. You can get around some of the tech hurdles and just play with the policies. Has there every been a magic school book that focused on the teachers and the people who create the school? The closest that I know of is the Magicians, but it was still student focused.
Something to think about.
If you're reading this, thank you! Please consider buying my book, Daydreamer. People are saying very cool things about it. Like this:
Not my real name, but it does roll right off the tongue, doesn't it?