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EDGEX2012 Conference: Disruptive Educational Research, New Delhi March 12-14 (Webcast)

March 8, 2012

Check out the #EDGEX2012 Conference. The speakers include Jay Cross, George Siemens, Stephen Downes, Clark Quinn, Dave Cormier, Alec Couros, Grainne Conole, Alicia Sanchez, Martin Weller, Les Foltos, and Jon Dron. This list is a who’s who in the world of educational innovation and transformation. Have a look at the EDGEX2012 Brochure, the schedule, and register for the Webcasts.

Lego CC by R.B. Boyer - CC BY-SA

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2012 6:54 am

    Please tell me what is “disruptive” about what looks like a trade fair the neo-educational elite?
    Scott

  2. Mark McGuire permalink
    March 11, 2012 8:22 am

    Hi Scott

    Thanks for leaving this comment, which got me thinking.

    I assume the content of the presentations will have some disruptive ideas, even if the form and format of the conference is pretty traditional (although live streaming makes it a more “open” event than most conferences). Your comment reminds me of a recent post by Alan Lavine: “Can we flip more than classrooms?” (http://cogdogblog.com/2012/03/08/flip-more-than-classrooms/).

    Is is ironic that efforts to create flatter, more open structures and processes can end up creating educational counter-culture celebrities. I wouldn’t blame the individuals concerned, though, but the pervasive culture of celebrity, individualism and hero worship. It is easier for the media (and for most of us) to attach new ideas to individuals, who are then promoted as the standard bearer for a movement that likely involved many, many, others, who never get a mention. In some cases, it is a conscious effort to attract attention, bolster reputation and, eventually, launch an organized effort to cash in (I’m thinking of Sebastian Thrun’s http://www.udacity.com/ initiative). In other cases, it is simply attention rightly earned for good ideas and good work.

    Mark

  3. March 11, 2012 9:52 am

    Thanks for the reply! My intention wasn’t to detract from the work going into changing education.

    Not worried about star appeal either. I recognize all these contributors have dedicated lots of years in what must have seemed like pointless efforts to bring on changes. And here I don’t know how to change but it feels very much like we have already decided who will lead before we have significant examples of what it is they are leading.

    Additionally, though this may be an artifact of the promotional nature of a brochure, it seems a foregone conclusion that Connectivism is a workable theory. And without need of any more investigation, the winning theory for the connected world. I would find that it an unsettling process for building a religion and certainly it is unacceptable declare the debate over so soon.

    Scott

    • Mark McGuire permalink
      March 11, 2012 11:15 pm

      Hi Scott

      I haven’t done much research on connectivism (I’ve been taking part in the change11 and cck12 MOOCs, but I haven’t kept up with the readings). I did come across a 2011 post by Jenny Mackness (“Attacks on connectivism”: http://goo.gl/Rlhdq), which mentions some of the critics. I note that Frances Bell has written that “actor-network theory will give a much more comprehensive picture of what is happening than will connectivism” (“Connectivism: Its place in theory-informed research and innovation in technology-enabled learning, 2011, http://goo.gl/tu4qU).

      I haven’t worried too much about whether connectivism is a theory or not. It doesn’t seem necessary to use the term when discussing experiments and initiatives that make use of networks for educational purposes. As you say, it is pretty early days, and the process of what happens when people use networks to learn (whether formally or informally) is pretty complicated. We have a lot to learn about how to learn using recent and still-developing technologies.

      Mark

  4. March 12, 2012 7:00 pm

    I’ve been following connectivism for a few years and I’m still undecided on exactly what it represents. Or should we worry at all building a fence around a theory at all? To me, the term connectivism represents a region of thoughtfulness and exploration populated by interesting people I can learn from. Is it a theory? Is it the future? Is it just a group of people wandering randomly into the future? Who knows?

    Something in the brochure makes me nervous. The tone of promotion and breathless opportunity to cash in on the FUTURE of EDUCATION doesn’t help.

    You are right, it is complicated but complication can spawn bad choices and false comforts that we need to keep close eye on.

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