“‘Bored,’ ‘Stiff,’ ‘Wanting to leave,’ ‘Intimidated,’ come the typical responses. It never occurs to them to change this very old school form unless they are explicitly invited to do so.” (Shapiro)

“So that the students see only a few backs of fellow students and the lonely expert in front” (Shapiro)

While reading the online article (especially the top quote), I found myself picturing a seminar where everyone is standing (or sitting if they choose to) and casually walking around shmoozing with each other as friends, discussing readings.  Maybe with a snack table and some punch.  I doubt there would be the seminar tension that comes from the tables and chairs.  It would most likely feel like a book club.  It makes me wonder if it would be as productive as a seminar.  When seminar gets off topic, however, it is one conversation that can be redirected.  With many people discussing the readings amongst themselves, it would be hard to notice or take action if conversations stray.

Then I think of this quote:

“The chairs were so ergonomic that they had zero adjustment controls, because they knew much better than you ever could how to arrange themselves for your maximum comfort.” (Doctorow 195)

In relating this scene in my head to the scene of the previous quote, I wonder if there will someday be a technology that knows how to arrange learning environments according to the individuals in the room.  Can technology really know us that well?  Is there any way for us to make it know us that well?

Can there be technology that listens to your body more than you do. Making decisions for us by understanding us better than we do, that looks like inventions/technology evolving past its makers.