Forms for a Future is a university level social science course on the economic, political, social, and psychological elements for dealing with the single most significant question of our time: How to live sustainably and peacefully on a crowded planet.
We have more than enough information from the natural and physical sciences about the environmental challenges we face. We now need to address the human constraints within which we must make the necessary decisions.
- Course Outline and 2012-2013 Academic Schedule
University of South Florida Students taking the course for university credit will follow the academic calendar for a semester.
For students taking the public free version the course is entirely self-paced, but they may elect to follow the semester time table if they wish to keep pace with the USF students enrolled in the class.
The link below will provide a copy of the Outline and Schedule, but the links to the specific classes will not become available until all of the course material has been loaded in to USF ITunes University and officially "published" to provide public access.
- A Preview of “Forums for a Future”
I have compiled a short selection of materials from the course to provide both a preview of and invitation to “Forums for a Future: The civil civic discussions we need to have to have a future.”
I invite you to read and share this preview with others in your social network. Participants get more from the course if they have others with whom they can talk personally.
In particular, I want young people to invite their parents and the adults in their extended families to take the course at the same time, and older adults to invite the young people in their families to do the same.
I call this the Millennial Challenge (see Chapter 5 of the Preview). It is the essential cross-generational civic dialogue required between the Millennials and the Establishment if we are to accomplish a sustainable and peaceful way of life within our shared life times.
The preview is available in PDF format or in interactive iBook Format from the iTunes Bookstore. Both are free.
- Using An iPad to Access Course Material
The new iTunes U platform is designed to accommodate the interactive capacity of the iPad. The course material is automatically stored on your iPad. This provides a seamless transition for viewing the material delivered from USF iTunes University with interacting with other participants through ureddit.
However, because the course is a writing course -- a course requiring weekly written assignments -- iPad users may wish to access these parts of the course using a computer.
- Using a Computer to Access Course Material
As an aid to navigation, for participants using a computer, I have created a PDF file that will allow the computer user to both scroll through the entire course to gain an overall perspective, and to select links to each of the sequential components of each class; each selection will be then be accessed through their Internet browser. This capacity is identical to what an iPad user would automatically experience as part of the iPad package, but is not available in iTunes for the computer user.
(The entire content of the course is also available through iTunes U to be downloaded into your computer and saved as individual files in iTunes. This is similar to using the iTunes Store to subscribe to a podcast or to purchase music. The material then becomes available for access in iTunes, but it does not retain the sequential order of the material nor provide an organizational structure. When these additional enhancements are added to iTunes it will also be possible to take the course using a computer directly through iTunes as an alternative.)
- Advanced Manual Direct Navigation
Most participants will use either the iPad or computer (or both) methods for accessing the course material.
However, advanced users may choose to use direct manual navigation to go to any activity for any class using either an iPad or a computer. The attached table provides a matrix of all the interactive navigation links for the course organized by class number (rows) by class activity (columns).
Command of the English Language, an open minded approach to discussion and a willingness to watch the course videos, read all the course material and only comment on the information after you have done so.
This course requires a serious commitment to civil civic discussions – as citizen of the world – based on explicit scholarly material, not private beliefs nor political ideologies, if we are to have a future worth living.
The class will start in the Fall Semester of 2012 when the identical face-to-face version of the course begins at the University of South Florida.
Class material will be provided through USF iTunes University and will be available at the start of the Fall Semester.
Once the class begins, each thread will correspond with one week of the face-to-face version taken by USF students who are formally enrolled in the course. While you may proceed at your own rate, USF students will be doing one thread per week.
I will not be accepting nor grading written work from the people taking the virtual class. There are weekly written assignments which will generate work if those taking the course wish (since it is entirely voluntary), but they will primarily be for the other virtual users to read and critique. Thus, those who take the virtual class are expected to act as equal parts students and teachers by sharing and commenting on each other’s work.
I am a retired university professor. I have taught at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois and Dalhousie University (Canada). I currently teach my Forum for a Future class in the Honors College at the University of South Florida as an Adjunct Professor.