Becoming the Future: The “Lake Highlands” Middle School Laptop and Learning Initiative

  • David Shutkin
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Digital Education and Learning book series (DEAL)


In the fall of 2008, the “Lake Highlands” School District unveiled its “Laptop and Learning Initiative.” Creating a 1:1 ratio of laptop computers for middle school teachers and students, the Lake Highlands’ initiative was an expression of the district’s commitment to the future. In their own words, this future requires the preparation of students to participate as well educated citizens in an increasingly interdependent and technologically advanced global society. This chapter is not about the future. Instead, it is about the “present of the future” when digital technologies are deployed in school districts to synchronize time and domesticate otherness. The synchronization of time is a technological response to the past, to determine the future by controlling the present (Simpson, 1995). Contrary to a synchronization of time, L é vinas (1987) describes time as a relationship between self and other, between a present that is experienced by and known to the self and a future that is unknowable and other.1

The future is absolutely surprising. Anticipation of the future and projection of the future … are but the present of the future and not the authentic future; the future is what is not grasped, what befalls us and lays hold of us. The other is the future. (pp. 76–77)

This chapter is about this other; it is about middle school students in the Lake Highlands School District becoming the future as they experience the synchronization of time in school with their new MacBooks.


Middle School School District Actor Network Technology Integration Middle School Student 
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Copyright information

© Neil Selwyn and Keri Facer 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Shutkin

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