It’s time to turn grades in (and deal with the last-minute pre-deadline submissions) at the Houston Foresight program. It’s a good time to reflect on what went on over the semester. Perhaps the most interesting difference was the size of the program and classes. We 14 new students and 38 enrolled overall (we typically also have several folks on sabbatical), which made for some much large class sizes than typical – 26 in Futures Research, for example. It did add to the faculty workload – thanks to Terry Grim (“Intro”) and Cindy Frewen (“Social Change”) for handling this with grace. [And let’s not forget Jim Breaux (“Energy and Environment”) and Alexandra Whittington (“Technology and Society”) at the undergrad level. On the plus side, the greater number of students seemed to create an atmosphere of energy and excitement that I really enjoyed.
The percentage of students attending remotely continues to rise. As the technology improves, the convenience of remote participation is hard to beat!
We had a half-dozen students working on a follow-up to our “Student Needs 2025 and Beyond.” Hope to be able to share on that soon.
We launched a research project of our own called “Futurists in the Media” that is tracking and analyzing mentions of – you guessed it – mentions of futurists in the media. Our goal is to learn more about how we are being talking about and perceived, and ultimately suggest what we might do to improve that situation (and it needs improving!).
A bunch of students and alums went to the APF “Learning Remix” Gathering in Atlanta. It was great for the students to meet some professional futurists, do some networking, and enjoy a great conference.
One of the more fun events was that me and four students — Jason Crabtree, Maria Romero, Johan Shutte, and Will Williamson – spent a day with high schools students participating in Houston Independent School District Urban Debate League Conference run by Houston Foresight alum Mark Niles. It was great to see our students in action working with others students (more to come on that soon in the Houston Foresight blog).
It was fun to put together a series of short videos about the program for the website. Outgoing GA extraordinaire Maria Romero produced these for us and I think they came out really nice.
It was a great semester and I’m looking forward to the Spring. Andy Hines