I admit it, I am a fan of dystopic futurologist 'science fiction' novelists. Although, as an aside, it has to be said, if 'dystopic' means a bad version of Plato's 'Utopia' then it must be pretty bad indeed
In the above context I still love reading Aldous Huxley (Brave New World and Doors of Perception) and Doris Lessing's Canopus series. I am now a major fan of Margaret Attwood especially her 'Oryx and Crake'; if you have not read them, have a go
Logically enough then, and directly extrapolating from my last post on the 2010 political manifestos, let's move on a few years and take a peep at how children are learning: the ICT class of 2014
In the Class
Much has changed. The ever youthful Carol Vordeman is now in charge of the Con-Lib Party's National Cognitive Enhancement program following her popular success as a maths guru and computer-enhanced brain training evangelist
Becta the school's ICT quango also has survived the first decade of the 21st Century and is credited with facilitating an unprecedented increase in SATs performance for UK children
School attendance is high and behaviour of students is good
Inside the ultramodern, completely silent and almost dark computer suite a hundred young people are working deep in concentration, each wear white earpieces and their hands are motioning deftly in response to what they see on their Microsoft high-res 3D visors.
They all attend the state-funded virtual cloud-school 1190 built on the old Second Life avatar system and are studying advanced business system automation for the Grade 1 Bureaucrat examinations
Every now and again a student swigs from their water bottle which contains a clear sweet liquid enough to last them for the 12 hour day. The 'water' contains a cocktail of legal drugs. Modafinil, caffeine, theobromine and methyphenidate. Together they allow the youngsters to concentrate for longer than ever was thought possible in the 20th Century.
Research into cognitive enhancement (nootropics) has been so effective that the 'Every Child Matters' campaign has ensured they are available to all
"This year's batch are achieving even higher targets" purred Lord Gove as he toured the remote school monitoring centre which allowed him to view every state school using a 1000 mb broadband link, the pride of the nation
Trotting alongside him was a small army of Grade 1 bureaucrat graduates, each glowing with pride and anxious to please at every turn. "Yes indeed my Lord" said an eager slightly plump woman of that uncertain age known colloquially as the 'botox years', "we have set targets 10% higher for next year!" ..."and soon we will have sufficient supplies of the anti-obesity drug Orlistat which will really reduce the mortality rate" she gushed
"Indeed" confirmed Lord Gove as he strode on through his New World