Just coming to the end DML2012 and what has been a really interesting conference in San Francisco. I love the tagline ‘Beyond Educational Technology’ feels like where I have been trying to get to for last 25 years.
This the third year of this event and it has grown into one of the main events in the calendar for those interested in the next generation of learning. More than that I think it will become the cultural home of a group of educators and academics looking to take innovative practice from the edge into the heart of learning.
The opening keynote speaker was John Seely Brown had the wonderful title of ‘Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century’ which he dealt with in his usual style drawing on the excellent work he has done over a number of decades.
The event has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation which has invested at least $85m in some excellent projects that investigate how to best utilise digital media for learning. Others including the Gates Foundation are now on board – although it appears to have a more scatter-gun approach to education, funding everything from ‘enhanced teacher accountability systems’ to more positive stuff more directly related to improving learning. [Aside: Interesting model from an outsiders point of view that these charitable foundations can spend billions of untaxed dollars on projects to influence policy and practice without much in the way of accountability. Great if what they are doing is for the common good but I wonder what checks and balances there are to ensure this is always the case.]
Anyway I leave feeling inspired, energised and better informed on state of the art with respect to DML. Also with a lot of good ideas about where to focus my energies over the next few years and how best to make a positive impact on improving learning.
Introduction to the conference and the JSB keynote from YouTube