EdTech and Hard Sci-Fi

Lock In, Lexicon, and The Windup Girl.

December 1, 2015

Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future by John Scalzi

Lexicon: A Novel by Max Barry

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Over Thanksgiving break I didn’t think I didn’t read e-mail, and I didn’t think about higher education.

What I did do was read science fiction.

Sometimes, the best way to be more effective in our jobs is to walk away from our jobs for a few days. Do you have any success in taking a digital holiday?

My suspicion is that the most effective method to improve our social intelligence is to read more quality novels.

My hypothesis is that the way to increase the positive impact of educational technology is to read more hard science fiction.

Hard science fiction, a category that I didn’t even know existed until recently, is sci-fi that emphasizes “scientific accuracy and technical detail”. For edtechies, hard sci-fi lets us glimpse the adjacent possible at the intersection of education and technology.

Would the edtech profession be better served if we spent more time reading and discussing hard sci-fi, and less time talking about incremental technological advances?

Should we have a track at the next EDUCAUSE or OLC meeting devoted to hard sci-fi?

Are edtech people more likely to read hard science fiction than the average reader?

Is it possible that the growing gap in our campus enterprise platforms and our consumer tech is driven as much by a failure of imagination as the limitations of technologies?

If you are a fan of hard science fiction, and if you have not read the books listed above, then you have some new recommendations.

If you are a reader of hard science fiction, and you have some recommendations for us, I hope that you will share.

What are your favorite books in the hard science fiction category?

What are you reading?



Back to Top