Visualizing Tomorrow: Looking at Responses to the Speculative Education Colloquium

Two nights ago, 115 of you signed up to join us for the Speculative Education Colloquium. (And we welcome more – please see info here to register for the free event.)

As part of signing up, folks have the option of responding to the following prompt:

Screenshot 2020-04-02 02.05.45

Most of you jotted a sentence or two. Some of you left it blank. Some of you went to town.

I took the responses from these first two days of inviting folks to this gathering and threw them in an old-school word-cloud. It looks like this:

wordcloud (2)

While there are some pretty obvious—if still exciting — words that pop out here, it’s the language that creeps in the nooks and crannies around these bigger words that are revitalizing for me. (The Thomas’ English Muffins of ideas, if you will.)

Let’s take a brief, zoomed-in tour of the cloud, shall we?


I appreciate the words that sneak into the polysyllabic corners of “community” – ethics, arts, worlding, planet, rpgs. Those feel like words that can transform schooling practices.

“Political One-Shot”

Screenshot 2020-04-02 02.08.38

I appreciate the found poetry that is found in something like a word-cloud. If there is an aspect of “the algorithm”™ that I like (a real maybe) it is its capacity for happenstance and previously unseen possibility. In general, this bottom left area of the cloud maps kinds of actions and adjectives that feel enticing.


Partnership (and its permutations) sneaks throughout the cloud. We are wondering together and while this event is academic-facing, the sense of with whom lurks in many of these responses.

Might (Re-)Imagine

Screenshot 2020-04-02 02.10.27

By the time I got around to writing this post, a couple dozen more folks had signed up. This word cloud is out of date and we’ll share a newer version at the actual event. Like the world, our ideas are shifting, adapting, and moving quickly. I believe the original image of the cloud above is the high definition version; I encourage you to click around and explore the words and sentiments of these participants. Finally, if these are words that comport with the conversation you’d like to be a part of, join us!

Leave a Reply