NetDragon and The Smithsonian Institution have announced Learning for a Small World, an “interactive, community-based learning platform.” The first course will be Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology.
“Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology will explore the futuristic technology and social issues that remain top of mind today: runaway artificial intelligence, eugenics, discrimination and racial tensions, and even examinations of the nature of perception and what it means to be human. The course takes a deep look at how the show, and its fans, both reflected the times and foreshadowed scientific achievements we take for granted and the cultural challenges we face today.”
Enrollees will “examine how Star Trek‘s live action television shows and motion pictures affected audiences around the world. With your hosts, Margaret Weitekamp and Scott Mantz, you will discover the connections between Star Trek and history, culture, technology and society. You will hear from experts, watch clips from the shows and films and debate with fellow fans. Through critical analysis and object exploration, you will examine how Star Trek tackled controversial topics, such as race, gender, sexuality, and ethics. Then, the mission is yours. Join the community to engage in civil discourse. Use evidence to understand how Star Trek shaped and still influences our society and technology. So boldly go where no online course has gone before!”
There are seven parts of the six-week course. Topics include:
- Course & Instructor Introductions
- Why Star Trek?
- What does it mean to be Explorers?
- What is Alien?
- What Does It Mean to Be Part of a Culture?
- The Frontier as a Powerful Symbol
- What Does It Mean to Be Human?
The program is available now, for $19.95. However, the first thousand who sign up will get the course for only $4.95 by using the promotional code TOBOLDLYGO.
More information can be found here. The descriptions of the seven sections of the course can be found here. Click the “Show More” button beneath the “What You Will Learn” paragraph. Then click any of the titles to get the full description of that part of the course.
Star Trek: Inspiring Culture and Technology will include some Star Trek actors, including Michael Dorn, Walter Koenig, Robert Picardo, and more.