As a child I read science fiction which was by definition as I saw it a fictional genre using science terms. Little did I realize when I read what Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury had written in the mid twentieth century that actually the technology to enable what they described-robots, talking big screens, external eavesdropping into private homes, and magical playrooms with holograms actually existed at that time. Due to expensive costs, it was not accessible to the average consumer as it is today.
So while I thought I was reading science fiction, I was actually reading about science fact based products and services not yet widely available because of cost and production, But the writers of science fiction were not just advance publicizers of new technology. Many of their stories warned of disastorious social, emotional and world endangering consequences if new technologies were unleashed. But that was their fiction or is the morphing of what was thought to be science fiction into science fact an ominous outcome?
The video above shows a robot who has taken over a hair salon washer’s job in Japan.
Is this a positive Science Fiction fact or not?
Video embedded in Classroom Robotics blog post
SET students off on a video and audio and print stuff of Science Fiction now fact search using the capacities of their Chromebooks broadcast, and web-based news items which include coverage of events, products, and experiences that have been part of science fiction stories, but through technological and economic manufacture have now become readily available to the public. Students will identify the news items, detail their science fiction connection, and then author a reflection or evaluation /persuasive argument as to whether what is now science fact is a positive or negative thing.
Teachers can maintain a Chromebook based argument portfolio for each student, comment privately for each and also share student views and sites identified as the teacher feels appropriate.
Student reflections can be posted on a class blog dedicated to the project, a format that invites and accommodates peer and invited Chromebook community readers to engage in this discussion.
Science Fiction =Science Fact =Positive, Negative or Decide Case to Case
- Engage the students in a whole group discussion about Science Fiction, what it is, why people enjoy it, and how Science Fiction often turns into Science Fiction Fact later on, and why this may be so. Ask the students to volunteer examples of all of these and draw up a class list of items that were once fiction and that now are fact. The teacher should record this conversation as a starter for other peer classes and as something adult visitors to a site based Chromebook expo on this topic can react to or adult invited experts can comment on for the entire Chromebook network.
- Further, have the students focus on how Science Fiction Fact impacts the lives of people, both individuals and the whole or segments of society. Give the students and elicit examples from them of examples of Science Fiction Fact that turned out to help people and others that turned out negatively. Students can start out Siri and GPS direction finding plus cell phone use. All of these were once the stuff of science fiction stories and not readily available for a majority of consumers.
- To help the students focus on this subject, as a whole class effort, create and display prominently a table that contains parallel lists of items that the students consider to be a) Science Fiction b) items that are Science Fiction Fact (previously and c) Science Fiction that the students feel will soon or eventually become Science Fact.
- Break the class up into pairs and assign each pair to a) research and identify one Science Fiction Fact item or one item they feel will be Science Fiction Fact in the future and b) discuss between themselves, c) ask parents and other adults whether or not they agree with their conclusions about the impact of their SFF item (you may want to suggest to them to try to get at least two sentence or more quotes about these issues. And finally, have them ask their family members if they feel cultural or their ethnic background or country of origin play a role in how they react to new science fiction fact developments), and d) write up their reflections and arguments, quoting people they’ve interviewed, as appropriate as well as citing any opinions they find through research on line. Chromebooks enable photographing and recording the interviews and developing a video of perhaps a science fiction fact product search in ones neighborhood- think supermarket, bank, cell phone store, bus ride, etc. Opinions and voices of parents can be imported into student reports as audio tapes enabling them to be full partners in this project.
- Encourage students to engage in an argument and counter argument mode of exploring whether science fiction fact- (i.e. robots that can wash your hair, GPS to provide directions for driving, robotic non-invasive surgery, prostheses to replace lost or non-functioning body parts, robotic e book readers, etc.) is a positive for life or negative. Their debates can become part of a Chromebook teacher registry and they may also enjoy watching 20th century so-called science fiction show such as the Bionic Man which anticipated today’s science fiction fact.
- Students should present their chosen Science Fiction Fact item and discuss its positives or negatives in a 200 – 400-word piece (including quotes and references (if applicable). This allows them town their research. This can be posted on a class blog set up for this purpose. Accompanied by a photo or graphic or 2 that illustrate their submission. The Chromebook community can publish a magazine or do a cyber exhibit of these pieces.
- Students may be directed to contact parents, teachers, community figures, etc. inviting them to read their blog post and offer an online comment response.
What is most engaging about this use of Chromebooks-themselves a science fiction become affordable science fact product-is that this is a metacognitive opportunity to think about the positive negative uses of technology as a tool using the technology to do that evaluating. From a teaching perspective, that’s a science fiction fact made proactively true!
Classroom Robotics Blog www.classroomrobotics.blogspot.com
Bradbury “The Veldt”
Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
Lois Lowry The Giver
James Dashner, the Maze
Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games
Veronica Roth Divergent
Articles for Teachers:
- Reading List of… Science Fiction and Fantasy Favorites
Articles for Students:
– 27 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2012
- Science fiction or science fact? Take the quiz!
- 13 Everyday Technologies That Were First Imagined In Science Fiction
- Science Fiction Becomes Science-Fact: Two Strategies for Repairing Humans 07/science_fiction_becomes_science_fact_two_strategies_for_repairing_humans.html
- 21 Science Fictions That Became Science Facts In 2013
- 8 Star Trek Technologies Moving from Science Fiction To Science Facthttp://www.forbes.com/sites/paulhsieh/2014/06/24/8-star-trek-technologies/
– Classroom Robotics Blog: http://www.classroomrobotics.blogspot.com/
- Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/
– Science Fiction-Science fact
Dr. Rose Reissman,
Academic and Grant Funding Director for Sector 5
About Sector 5,
Sector 5, Inc. (OTCQB: SFIV), is a Proud American Corporation, that sells, manufactures and develops new innovative consumer electronics under Sector 5 and other brands. The Company markets its partnership with Google approved Chromebooks to educational organizations, other B2B and B2C sales channels, with retail sales on Amazon. It is in development of several new products to serve the educational, business and retail markets. Follow the company on http://www.twitter.com/sectorfiveinc and http://www.facebook.com/sect5 and find further information at http://www.sector-five.com. For Sector 5’s Forward Looking Statements, click here.