One of the knowledge mobilization activities of my SSHRC grant on education futures was a podcast. This post shares episode 4 of 7.

First, a bit of background

The future of education is open and contested. In this podcast we approach the future of education from a storytelling perspective.Stories about the future of education are diverse, complex, and run the gamut of wild hope to doom and despair. In some of these stories techno-optimism drives what is thought to be possible. In others, education is imagined to be a regenerative cultural force. In yet others, the impact of capitalism and authoritarian systems of surveillance already taking hold in education create dystopian spaces of control and management. The stories we tell have the power to create the world we live in. Understanding the stories we tell about what is possible, and the trends in those stories, can give us insight into the present, into ourselves and each other, and the worlds we might seek to or are already in the process of creating.

What are the stories being told about the future of higher education today? Who tells them? What do these stories reveal about our values and our assumptions? What do they reveal about technology and about our universities? What do they say about the future, but also about the present? The speculative learning futures podcast,brings together diverse voices and perspectives, from artists to scholars of different backgrounds, to imagine and discuss the future of education and the role of storytelling in moving towards or away from those futures. [As an aside: More on this questions in this paper and this paper. And if you have a paper of yours that centers these questions, consider submitting it to a journal special issue I am co-editing].

Subscribe to all episodes on Google, Apple, or Spotify. Or, if you prefer to download the mp3 files without subscribing, you can download all of them from here.

Episode 4

George and Shandell  chat with Felicitas Macgilchrist about the future of education. Felicitas Macgilchrist is Head of the Media | Transformation department at the Georg Eckert Institute and Professor of Media Research at the Georg-August-University of Goettingen’s Institute of Education. Her current research focuses on the discourses and practices around educational technology, including critical and speculative approaches to digital education. Her projects ask which policies and practices are shaping media change in today’s schools. This episode is a  free ranging conversation, in which we go deep into design and the ethics of design in education. We talk about futures in which slowness is centred, considering how we might make better space for ourselves and each other, and how those of us with privilege can promote the already incredible futures work happening in places around the world today. We also get into the thinking about what the metaphor of rewilding can tell us about digital education today and into the future, and how awesome science fiction is.


We are deeply grateful to the guests who spoke with us for each of the episodes of this series. We’re also fraeful to the Digital Public Interest Collective for their support, in dedicating the third series of the Digital Public Interest Collective podcast to education. Editing was provided by Andrea Galizia, and production advice was provided by Dr. Jaigris Hodson. The podcast was produced with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Grant #430-2020-00404)