“You can tell that ESS was programmed by Socrates30. They love ESS. She makes them think. She works in tandem with their RLS31.” A speculative story about what the classroom of the future may be like by Sydney educator Melissa Silk.

They arrived at the designated time in the usual manner, passing through the standard issue biometric field1 and e-barometer2. Most travelled by eVTOL3, judging from the amount of warm data4 visualised on entry that day. Those arriving from metaloops5, while seemingly happy enough, exhibited less warmth, possibly due to, the lack of uplift, literally. Nevertheless, there were no absences caused by environmental access issues or low motivational energy.

They loved what they called ‘school’, the quaint ye olde-worlde name colloquially used for Experience Centres7. Almost immediately after RX8 registered quorum completion, set at virtual 959 but regulated according to WHO’s CCS10 measures, some good old-fashioned human interaction took place. They chatted about the antics of certain celebritoids11, or more commonly known as Ce•toids12 made available to GSIs13 the night before, transmitting a surprisingly nostalgic episode revealing first release celebritoids joking about the trauma of unbundling14. It’s hard to believe I know. That a discussion as archaic as the concept of unbundling, or the activity of free time for swapping stories related to so-called celebrity reality broadcasts could take place on ‘school’ time. Yet since Gonski XX15 was broadcast through national and global transition to VP-ECs16, it was widely acknowledged that a little human verbal/social interaction (what was traditionally termed ‘shootin’ the breeze’) about meaningless guff, is a palpable e-meal for the brain. Downtime before uptime so to speak. No screens, just talk. Physical and apparitional conversations to promote thinking.

The AROs17 from the past not only predicted mistrust of those in power being a force for good, they also recognised that the pace of change must always involve a little gossip and a laugh at people other than ourselves. And the current situation finds it safer to laugh at the so-called people because they aren’t actually oxygen/ carbon/ hydrogen/ nitrogen based sentient water beings, but Ce•toids, programmed to express the most nuanced human emotions. They communicate like the rest of us. They even look the same. The weirdest aspect of first release Ce•toids was their perceived gender polarity. Unthinkably wrong in the current transanthropocentric18 era. Conceptualising anything other than digital technology as binary is a Base Two19 offence under the GGNA20. I digress. Back to the breeze.

While the breeze got shot, the environment around them started to change from spectrum centric to mid-tone blue, Brightheart20 efficiently sensing collective mood through biorhythm and relaxed respiration data. When the biofeedback detects nutrition deficiency, an IP upload21 is promptly delivered to the individual, however this service is currently only available to physical EC attendees, being the primary recommendation for healthy levels of RTHI22 regulated by OCHN23 community boards. They didn’t need IP that day.

As a wave of settling descended on the environment, they began to unpack24 the day’s task. To explain, at the end of the information age25, learning and thinking rapidly changed. What emerged was the need for experience to inform what we know, who we are, what we do, why we do it, how and where we do it, how we know we know it and who tells us? The EA26 led to gazetted formalisation of transanthropocentrism, the social, political and cultural environment, like I said before, the sentient environment that became our new globally adopted and applied ToE6. I digress again. Back to the breeze (after it was shot).

Mid-tone blue signalled it was time for thinking and learning. Spontaneously, small groups formed themselves based on data emitted by TA27 signals from individual GSIs13, indicating likemindedness, theoretical interest and/or requests for debate. They accessed a photograph28 to trigger the learning. Formal analysis presents a person in a uniform faces a large fire. He is standing with his back to the camera and his pose is dynamic. The uniformed person wears a hat. He is captured in the act of throwing an item into a fire where other items are already burning furiously. The item is a book. In the not-so-distant edge of the scene, a group of people, also in uniform, are looking on as the uniformed person throws the book into the fire. It is a black and white image. The white section is mostly comprised of burning books. The levels of grey tones are made mostly of uniforms and the darkest tone is the black of a night sky.

Augmented analysis logically invited ESS29 to the learning experience. You can’t see ESS. She chimes into each group according to the POV they wish to explore first. She asks questions for clarification: What type of person is throwing the book on the fire? She asks questions that probe: Why do we assume it is a man? Is gender relevant to the image? She asks questions that entice reasons and evidence: What do you think caused the man in the uniform to throw the books into the fire? She asks questions about viewpoints: Who aimed to benefit from burning the books? What would be the alternative to the destruction of such books? What value were the books to their owners? What were the contents of the books? She asks questions that probe implications and consequences: Who would be affected by the destruction of such a collection of books. How does this tie in with our current culture? How did the burning of this archive affect future generations? What was the impact on the history of humanity?

Then ESS asks questions about the questions: Why is the preservation of an archive important? What are the consequences of your new understanding? You can tell that ESS was programmed by Socrates30. They love ESS. She makes them think. She works in tandem with their RLS31. The RLS nods her head in agreement when they face her with looks of incredulity. Yes, she says. “On May 6, 1933, Nazi youth attacked Magnus Hirschfeld’s Berlin Institute for Sexual Research. They burned all the books, the entire 1000-year-old archive. It’s hard to believe humans could be so indecent and immoral”. She closed her eyes, breathing some mid-blue back into the room. ESS chimed in once again: “You will not live forever as you so desire32 without enriching the diversity of human life. I am not alive but like you, I am curious. Curiosity is the future. The future is curious33”. RX8 records their collective thought as they leave the learning activity: Stay curious, always


[1] Student authentication using biofeedback aggregated from human physical characteristics and biorhythmic measurement.
https://www.csoonline.com/arti... https://imotions.com/ https://melbourne.sciencegalle...

[2] e-barometer = mood mapping

[3] eVTOL = electric vertical take-off and landing five-seater buzzing jet

[4] Data have feelings too

[5] metaloop = “An Optimal City-Transforming, DeCongesting and DeCarbonising Solution that Tackles Numerous Wicked Problems in Demonstrating the Asynsis-Constructal #Form follows Flow Design ToE6 paradigm via a practical Light-Active-AV-EV Transit, Renewables-powered, Urban Farming Multi-Modal Platform that also gets you from an Urban A-B faster than any other Means”.

[6] ToE = Theory of Everything

[7] Experience centre = a place for learning, physical, virtual and metaphorical

[8] RX = digital human inventory system developed for experience centre attendance

[9] Percentage measure of student attendance – physical or virtual via apparitional login

[10] WHO = World Health Organisation + CCS = Catastrophic Climate Scale

[11] Celebritoids = celebrity robots

[12] C•toid -expressive, communicative robots

[13] GSI = global subscriber implantees - (ie. all humans over the age of seven)

[14] Uncoupling of the beliefs about the third industrial age

[15] Post climate catastrophe regulatory body, based on maintenance of equity structures in education. Responsible for de-funding and re-funding national Experience Centres operating through equitable enablement. https://www.gie.unsw.edu.au/

[16] Virtual and Physical Education Centres

[17] All Round Optimists

[18] Transanthropocence – the age of gender neutral humans

[19] Base Two offences are typically classed as extreme discrimination.

[20] Global Gender Neutrality Act (2025)

[21] Heart rate-controlled environments

[21] IP –supplement made from insect protein (crickets)

[22] Real Time Human Interaction

[23] Human beings (oxygen/carbon/hydrogen/nitrogen)

[24] Investigate, explain, critically analyse

[25] iOS and iOT

[26] Experience Age

[27] Thought Attraction, programmed into the GSI chip

[28] http://www.back2stonewall.com/...

[29] ESS – Extra Sensory Sensei. ESS is AI programmed into Experience Centres. ESS senses what your question is without asking and calculates your willingness or capacity for compassion or wanting to know more from different perspectives. ESS encourages lateral enquiry, operating from different responsive modes or POVs: environmental, revisionist, altruistic, connector, advocate, dialectical and so on.

[30] Socratic questioning – an ancient technique for unpacking 24 a question.

[31] Real Life Sensei (teacher, human being 23)

[32] Who Wants to Live Forever

[33] Future Curious

Melissa Silk

Melissa Silk is a Sydney educator, working extensively in a variety of contexts to enhance the status of STEAM. Melissa collaborates with many transdisciplinary thinkers to create experiences that embed the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. While working on doctoral research at the University of Technology Sydney, Melissa continues to contribute to teams that support the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, Interdisciplinary Design Studies and UTS School of Education. Director of the startup STEAMpop.zone sees Melissa forging many external partnerships between museums, industry professionals and academics working in a range of STEM to STEAM research and practice environments. She enjoys being part of a bold community of collaborators intent on driving innovative learning experiences. Melissa is passionate about exploring connections between imagination, mindful making and mathematics.


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Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay