When I was in school, probably in standard six, we had the short story “The Fun they had” by Isaac Asimov in our English Literature Textbook. The name of our English Literature textbook used to be Gulmohar. I guess many of you from my generation would recollect the book. Back then, when I read ‘The Fun they had‘ it appeared futuristic, however now it has become a reality. Last week my son’s school introduced online classes. Every time I watch him taking the classes sitting on his bed, I think of the short story ‘The Fun they had‘. Click here to read the full story.
Plot Summary: The Fun They Had by ISAAC ASIMOV is a futuristic story set in 2157 AD. The story writer envisions what the schools and education system will look like in the 23rd century. The story opens with Margie writing in her diary about an old book that Tommy had found. Margie remembers her grandfather once talked about his grandfather who went to an actual school where the children went for education and where they were taught by human teachers. However, Margie and Tommy live in the future world of the 23rd century where education was completely computerized. They don’t have schools; they have a special study room where a computer teaches them. The computer teacher is programmed and adjusted according to the needs of each child. Now and then the computer teacher develops some fault which is fixed by a County Inspector. Both Tommy and Margie wonder at the book found by Tommy in his attic. They wonder at the book as they read books on the screen of computer teacher. Margie feels the computer teacher is boring; she does not like mechanical teaching and learning. She also wonders how much fun would it be studying in a school with other children from a human teacher.
I have always been fascinated by ‘homeschooling‘. I love watching Homeschooling channels on Youtube and reading blogs of parents who homeschool their kids. However, I never had the courage to give up on formal schools and start homeschooling. Secondly, I lack patience. However, the universe conspired and here my son is attending school from the living room. Asimov’s imagination is our reality.