Friday 12 June 2009

#EDEN09 keynote speakers Friday: philosophy, new technologies and ethics

keynote speakers Friday
(any thoughts I might have during the speeches will be noted between brackets proceeded by 'remark')

"Here and now or wherever and forever. Dilemmas of Universalism in a global world" by Krzystoph Zanussi, Polish producer and film director, professor of European film at the European Graduate School, Switzerland and the Silesian University in Katowice (great, film in the description!)
(A smooth talking, grey haired, glasses wearing, man in suit)
He talks about 'human rights' being discussed for being not universal, but some elementary rights are elementary universal. He mentions this because the conference is located in Gdansk, a key city to stand-up for change. In 2000 a chart of human rights was constructed, but it was not too popular because obligations could be linked to these rights

So how universal is our consciousness and how do we use it for education?
The right to be not-informed is also a human right, yet because of the rise of the media push we know things we do not really need/want to know.
Access to information is ok, but more importantly the filtering of information becomes essential (see this part in the speech in the movie)
His question: the future of our community, what is it?
19th century had a fixed set of ideas: more freedom, more health, more education. The quest for freedom was clearly stated. If we look at us now, a lot of us lives in good situations, but ... what if everyone hops on this 'developed' way of live?
So, what about the genotype? Should we look for something better with scrambling the genotype. So do we use technology for improvement or not? And, what is improvement? This is a mental question, it is philosophical.
Are we sincere in striving to get better human rights? No, not most of us, because we cannot give everyone cars, poluting technology... But if all new wealthy people in the world would want to spend their time at the beach, there would not be enough beaches. Museums would not be able to cope with all the interested people, virtual visits are the solution... so what does this mean, This means that some of us now use the means that not all of us can use.

Than he said something about climate change in a talk with NASA official (see the movie below)

Does anyone have thoughts on what Kriszoph talked about? I am plee for more ethics, but indeed it is not easy to walk the talk.

"Best of times, worst of times... for open learning" by Gilly Salmon, University of Leicester, UK
(I will be quite critical on this speech. This is not that fair, as I like and admire Gilly Salmon a lot, but being critical is part of me and this is how I build my mind. And knowing what Gilly knows, I have of course very high expectations).
Quoting Charles Dickins (1859) from 'tale of two cities' intro... really beautiful to use.
We have the responsibility to deliver the 'best' resources for education (remark: but what is best, because the cultures are not equally placed to dive into new (technological) learning.
The tale of two cities was written part by part (published in parts for magazines)
low cost gadgets are the way to try out new learning techniques
She pleeds for herassy, as herassy is the way research and science moves forward (think Darwin, see part of the movie).
(remark: the examples of people that used technology or innovation (Charles Darwin, charles Dickins, ... are anglosaxens from an imperialist era... so how does this relate to ethics in a new learning world searching for 'best'?)
Synetics are essential: bringing together learning and technology, the idea of creativity and technology and pedagogy.
The virtual world of the Media Zoo is shown.
Gilly stops with a question to implement more art and other disciplines in learning (I am cheering when I hear this! Yeah!!).

"Social Innovations in Online learning: sharing individual progress plans, learning partners and global students profiles with NKI distance education" by Morten Flate Paulsen, NKI DE, Norway
presentation is posted by Morten and he asks you all to comment on it, great!
Mentions that online students get better grades.
He links to cases of succesful students, which is nice.
He mentions that the first lms in his uni was built in 1986, the first web-based courses in 1996.
Look at the ppt if you are interested in the NKI innovations and especially the student cases.
He ends with saying that transparency promotes cooperation.

"Welcome for the web" by Russ colbert, Polycom,
Only personal questions here;
Why is Polycom a head sponsor, yet they do not stream any of the sessions?
Why does an eLearning conference play a pre-recorded speaker (yesterday) during a plenary? Why not put a link to that speaker prior to the conference, with the option to send her/him remarks that can be answered by that speaker. This way that specific recorded speech might generate more interest than the others. But just watching a very one-frame set movie in which one person talks not altogether dynamic does not make much pedagogical, learning sense.
And why did the live polycom connection go to New York, when I know Polycom enables users in low resource areas to connect as well, so it would have been an extra to also go to a different global world. They could put themselves more in the picture I guess.

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