Roboteacher says that we can all go home now;The shape of things to come;Millennium edition

31st December 1999 at 00:00
A new book encourages children to describe their predictions for the 21st century. Cut out and keep them, and check against reality in, say, 2020.

In the next century I think school will have been abolished, but when you are born you will have a mini computer inserted inside your head instead of a brain, and under your hair there will be a slot. Every time you go to the doctor, they put a floppy disk in the back of your head so that knowledge is inserted into the computer. You can also play games in your head.

Josh Howell, age 8 One day I woke up, with the sun streaming through my window, when I heard someone saying "Wake up Jamie, it's breakfast time." Then I remembered it was only my talking alarm clock. It was as small as a gnome.

I went downstairs, and suddenly a hand shot out with my breakfast. I ate it all very quickly. I went back upstairs, then a hand shot out with my clothes. I put them on and switched on my computer. It automatically logged on to my teacher Mrs Curley's computer. I said, "Good morning, Mrs Curley," and she said "Good morning Jamie."

I said hello to Taha, Steven, Josh and Gareth. We did some English then Mrs Curley said "Boys it's playtime."

We quickly put on our ear pieces and went outside to play. Fifteen minutes later, the whistle went in our ear pieces and we ran back to the computer. Mrs Curley gave us our spelling and said it was dinner time. In the afternoon we did some Maths, Science and designed a robot. At three o'clock Mrs Curley said,"Switch off your computers, it's home time. I'll see you tomorrow at nine-thirty. Goodbye."

Jamie Prosser, age 7 There will be a robot that can be a teacher. It will have the same looks as an ordinary teacher, but instead of giving the naughty child discipline for getting an answer wrong, it will press a button and an electric shock will go under the carpet of the classroom, up the chair legs, up the naughty child's bum and give them an electric shock.

If a child is good, a sweet goes under the carpet, up the child's jumper and pops out in front of them. All this is done just by the teacher pressing buttons on his or her desk.

The robot teacher might blow up and the robot children have to try and fix it. The memory would have changed, so all the teacher said was either, "You can go outside and play games, stay inside and draw a picture or go home."

They all went home.

Josephine Connah, age 8 We will have:

* Everlasting toothpaste

* Indestructible trousers

* Flying skateboards

* Robots that do all our work

* Unpuncturable footballs

What will happen:

* Teachers will give us fizzy drinks

* Dinosaurs will inhabit the Earth

* We'll all have a personal jet

* Rollerblades will have 64 gears

* Toilets will have auto-flush

* Seas will be cleaner than now

* Teachers will teach us easy work

Matthew Collinge, age 9

When I grow up I want to be a teacher in secondary school. I would like to teach manners. I will have one child to see what they are like, and if I like them, I will have more children. If I cannot be a teacher I will be a pop star.

Kelly Gill, age 8

These extracts are taken from "Our World 2000" (Macmillan Children's Books, pound;15), a collection of predictions - in prose, poetry and artwork - produced by schoolchildren in the UK and Ireland. The publishers are donating 5 per cent of the royalties to Save The Children.

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