Your students have the power to shape the future. Inspire them to envision this future using The Tomorrow Project Anthology of short stories. The Tomorrow Project is an initiative by Intel that encourages people to imagine the role of technology in the future. As a computer teacher, you can use the anthology to encourage your students to consider the effect of current, emerging, and future technologies on their daily lives.
What is The Tomorrow Project Anthology?
The Tomorrow Project Anthology is a collection of four short stories written by popular science fiction writers. Each story is about people in the future. Often science fiction writing portrays a frightening or negative view of the future. The Tomorrow Project encourages a positive vision of the future as it portrays how futuristic technologies can influence daily life in a constructive, optimistic way. Emerging technologies are interwoven throughout the story events. At the end of each story are hyperlinks to videos or information about the emerging technologies introduced.
(Note: Some stories may not be appropriate for your students. Read them first!)
- Last Day of Work: This story envisions a world where humans no longer work. The concept of interstellar migration, virtual quark microscopes, and telepathic devices are subtly interwoven.
- The Mercy Dash: This story describes a couple rushing to the hospital after a family member has been in an accident. Robot chauffeurs, computer managed traffic, and virtual assistants help them along their trip.
- The Drop: This story explores the life of a young woman who is unhappy with her job. Armband sensors and mind control software are an integral part of her journey. NOTE: It uses profanity.
- The Blink of an Eye: This story illustrates the routine of a man at home in the evening. The dependency upon caretaking technology is brought into question.
The blending of science fact with science fiction makes it easy for your students to envision the possibilities of emerging technologies. The focus of the science fiction writing in The Tomorrow Project is about people, not about the technology. In thinking about how lives can be improved and enriched by technological advances, your students can gain a greater understanding of digital citizenship.
Futuristic Technologies in The Tomorrow Project Anthology
Some of the technology topics that The Tomorrow Project highlights include:
- Nano-bots: tiny robots that adapt to their environment
- Interstellar Migration: seed another planet with DNA
- Photonics: data transfer at the speed of light
- Virtual Assistant: helpful assistants for home and work
- Automated Traffic Flow System: computerized cars drive themselves to improve safety and traffic flow
- Dynamic Physical Rendering: manipulate a simulated 3D image
- Intelligent Devices: sensors that are used to alter the environment to improve efficiency and quality of human life
Science Fiction and The Tomorrow Project Anthology
Science fiction is the genre used to inspire a vision of the future. If you have time, your students can research an emerging technology and then write their own short story or an animated digital story. However, if time is limited consider the ideas below:
- Select a technology in one of the short stories. List three ways that you would use it today to improve your life.
- Illustrate an emerging technology from one of the short stories.
- Produce a poster to promote the benefits for a technology in one of the short stories.
- Write a blog or diary entry criticizing a technology in one of the short stories.
- Write a classified ad to sell a technology item in one of the short stories. It must be no more than 60 words.
- Continue the story. For example, in Last Day of Work you could write two paragraphs that describe what the main character does after he retires or in The Blink of an Eye write whether the main character turns off the artificial intelligence devices in the morning.
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