[iDC] The Future of Learning

Trebor Scholz scholzt at newschool.edu
Mon Jun 7 17:05:23 UTC 2010

Dear all,

Thanks to all for the Replacing Facebook thread.

Now, I am pleased to introduce George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Nancy 
White who will lead a 3 week long discussion on the future of learning.

Equity or utility in the future of learning?

Has the internet been good for learning? Has it reduced barriers to 
knowledge access and growth around the world? Or, has the internet 
re-enforced existing barriers and introduced a "homogeneity of knowing" 
in developed and developing countries? This discussion will address 
emerging trends in learning and how established systems - government, 
university - are positioned for ongoing participation in knowledge 
development. In particular, emphasis will be directed toward the impact 
of new learning systems - corporate, informal, DIY - on existing 
educational systems.

Week 1: Trends in Learning and Education
Week 2: Alternative learning models: an overview of future learning
Week 3: Future of learning institutions


George Siemens
George is a researcher and strategist with the Technology Enhanced 
Knowledge Research Institute https://tekri.athabascau.ca/ (TEKRI) at 
Athabasca University http://www.athabascau.ca/ . His role involves 
planning, researching, and implementing networks and social technologies 
in higher education, with focus on systemic impact and institutional change.

In 2006 he authored a book - Knowing Knowledge 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1430302305/ref=nosim/?tag=yasni-20 (.pdf 
version available here 
http://www.elearnspace.org/KnowingKnowledge_LowRes.pdf )- an exploration 
of how the context and characteristics of knowledge have changed, and 
what it means to organizations. The open text has been translated into 
Chinese and Spanish. In 2009, he published the Handbook of Emerging 
Technologies for Learning 
(.pdf version available here 
http://umanitoba.ca/learning_technologies/cetl/HETL.pdf ) with Peter 

Prior to TEKRI, he was the Associate Director, Research and Development 
with the Learning Technologies Centre 
http://www.umanitoba.ca/learning_technologies/ at University of Manitoba 

George is a frequent keynote presenter at academic and educational 
technology conference across Canada, United States, Australia, Europe, 
South America, Africa, Middle East, and Malaysia and Singapore.
Blogs: www.elearnspace.org/blog http://www.elearnspace.org/blog 
www.connectivis.ca http://www.connectivis.ca

Twitter: http://twitter.com/gsiemens

Stephen Downes
Stephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canada’s National Research 
Council and a leading proponent of the use of online media and services 
in education. As the author of the widely-read OLDaily online 
newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his 
leading-edge work in the field of online learning. He developed some of 
Canada’s first online courses at Assiniboine Community College in 
Brandon, Manitoba. He also built a learning management system from 
scratch and authored the now-classic “The Future of Online Learning”. At 
the University of Alberta he built a learning and research portal for 
the municipal sector in that province, Munimall, and another for the 
Engineering and Geology sector, PEGGAsus. He also pioneered the 
development of learning objects and was one of the first adopters and 
developers of RSS content syndication in education.

Downes introduced the concept of e-learning 2.0 and with George Siemens 
developed and defined the concept of Connectivism, using the social 
network approach to deliver open online courses to three thousand 
participants over two years. Downes has been offering courses in 
learning, logic, philosophy both online and off since 1987, has 135 
articles published in books, magazines and academic journals, and has 
presented his unique perspective on learning and technology more than 
250 times to audiences in 17 countries on five continents. He is a 
habitual photographer, plays darts for money, and can be found at home 
with his wife Andrea and four cats in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Stephen’s Web and OLDaily: http://www.downes.ca
Half an Hour Blog: http://halfanhour.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/downes

Nancy White
Nancy is a learner, mom, gramma and chocoholic. She founded Full Circle 
Associates in 1997 to help organizations connect through online and 
offline strategies. Nancy is an online interaction designer, facilitator 
and coach for distributed communities of practice, online learning, 
distributed teams and online communities. She has a special interest in 
the NGO/NPO sector and the emerging practice of using communities and 
networks for work and learning. Nancy blogs at http://www.fullcirc.com/ 
http://www.fullcirc.com/weblog/onfacblog.htm as well as teaches, 
presents and writes on online facilitation and interaction, social 
architecture and social media 
(http://www.fullcirc.com/community/communitymanual.htm). She is 
co-author with Etienne Wenger and John Smith of Digital Habitats: 
stewarding technology for communities ( 
http://www.technologyforcommunities.com). Lately she likes to draw on 
walls (graphic facilitation) and coo over her brand new grandbaby!!!

She lives in Seattle with her husband and two grown sons.

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