It’s a great time to be in education. And an even better time to be in the educational technology field. The fuzzy, ambiguous, emerging, and confusing world of technology and learning is more clearly defined than it was only ten years ago. This is largely due to the many different voices exploring and considering trends influencing institutions of learning. Stephen Downes is likely the most prominent voice in evaluating both the nature of these changes and the future impact of ed tech. He just posted a presentation he delivered this week: Providing Learning in Social Networks. I haven’t had time to listen to the audio – I’ll do that on my commute today. His slides provide an overview of the talk: learning networks, PLEs, openness, serialized feeds, etc. Networks – as prominent as they are now – are still at the early stages of impact on education. It’s quite difficult (if not impossible) to overstate the transformative influence network-thinking will have on learning in the future.
On a related note, I presented at a conference in Iowa this past week on a subject similar to Stephen’s. Scott McLeod provides a live blog version of the half day workshop: Social learning with emerging technologies and the keynote: The Impact of Connectivism and Networked Learning.