Future Trends Forum #1: notes and full recording

On Thursday we held the first Future Trends Forum.  Audrey Watters and I looked deeply into several major forces shaping education.  In this post I’d like to share some notes and a recording of the session.

If you haven’t used Shindig before, here’s a screenshot of what it looked like.  On top are two speakers “spotlighted”; they have mikes along with visual pride of place.  Below you can see a swarm of icons; those are images or video feeds from participants.  (Those images actually move around.)  On the bottom right you can see the chat box:

Future Trends Forum #1 screenshot with Audrey and Bryan

After a quick intro Audrey and I addressed a set of topics:

  1. The role of venture capital in educational technology.  Important argument: VCs aren’t radical in what they tend to support, despite their disruption talk.
  2. What the history of educational technology tells us about the present and future.  Watters brought up older ideas which are very much alive in technology projects, including behaviorism and Taylorism, while pointing out that our notion of “intelligence” is actually pretty limited (and historically embarrassing).
  3. The potential of automation.  Audrey sees too many campuses and businesses investing in anti-student, pro-behaviorist algorithms, reducing (rather than augmenting) human agency and learning.  We discussed the importance of looking at who builds and invests in technology, the lack of understanding about power and embodiment, and the ironic return of the factory model of education.

(Those are very, very sketchy notes.  Scroll down to watch and listen to the whole thing)

After some time I got out of the way as MC and interlocutor so that participants could come on stage and talk with Audrey.  Here’s Autumm Caines considering part of her excellent comments:

Future Trends Forum #1 screenshot, Audrey and Autumm

Questions via video and chat addressed the Turing test, the Pearson tax, financialization, and data analytics.  (NB: Audrey just wrote about this last point at Medium).

Here’s the recording, which you can click on, or watch below:

Overall it was an intense, challenging, sometimes brooding, always high-octane discussion.  Audrey’s points are essential for anyone thinking about education.

Shindig forces did a grand job of keeping all the parts working, from handling technical issues to recording the event.  I appreciated how participants could play an active role.

Next week, we’ll meet with Richard DeMillo!  That’s Tuesday afternoon, 2 pm EST.


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12 Responses to Future Trends Forum #1: notes and full recording

  1. VanessaVaile says:

    so regret having to leave early, daughter showing up early to take me to lunch. I do appreciate the video and audio though.

    • What a nice reason to leave, though!
      Please enjoy the recording.

      • VanessaVaile says:

        I did, enjoyed it, shared with Rhizomatic Learning FB group that Autumm and I are in. I’ve been tangled up in feeds (InoReader projects) but will check the tag today.

        There’s always next week’s. That should push me to finish Demillo, which I behind on, reading simultaneously with Jenkins/Ito/Boyd’s Participatory Culture in a Networked Era and Keith Hoeller’s collection, Equity for Contingent Faculty. Extreme zeugma…

        PS my daughter’s compliments on the beard.

      • Dearest Vanessa:
        Thank you for reading and sharing.
        I like your syllabus. How is the Equity collection?
        PS: my best to your tasteful daughter.

  2. tellio says:

    I have begun a Vialogue conversation here: https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/27649 Join Vialogues and then join us here as well.

    • tellio, can you tell us more about these Vialogues?

      • tellio says:

        Bryan, Vialogues.com is an annotation tool for video. YouTube or Vimeo urls can be used directly by the program or you can upload your own videos(up to 1GB) in multiple tile formats. Once you have imported the video, you can annotate at will. Play the video, stop it to annotate, make it publicly accessible, reply to other’s annotations. It is sponsored by Columbia University’s EdLab, is free, and only requires a signup.

        I Know that there are other tools for annotating, but none so easy to access and share. They are cake to embed in blogs or almost anywhere online. I find that the more I use them, the more uses I find for them. Take, for example, how I am using them for some teaching self-reflection: https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/27494/

        Vialogues takes your one-way dialogue and extends it much further. I find that a close reading of video removes the passivity of watching the screen. Here is another example of one that I (and others) have been slowly paddling through: https://vialogues.com/vialogues/play/26670/

      • Fascinating! What a neat tool.
        Have you had any issues w/joining Vialogues?

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