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Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities: Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales

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Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities:
Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales
Professor Mark Brown
Lausanne, Switzerlan...

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addressed B.G.?
…before Google

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Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities: Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales

Invited keynote presentation at #dariahTeach Open Education Workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland, 23rd March 2017.

Invited keynote presentation at #dariahTeach Open Education Workshop, Lausanne, Switzerland, 23rd March 2017.

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Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities: Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales

  1. 1. Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities: Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales Professor Mark Brown Lausanne, Switzerland 23rd March 2017 #dariahTeach Open Education Workshop
  2. 2. To whom were these questions addressed B.G.? …before Google
  3. 3. Fernglen 1876Omagh Napier
  4. 4. Special Edition
  5. 5. Outline 1. Digital literacies 2. Refocusing the lens 3. Designing for better futures Shaping the Future of Digital Humanities: Off the Rails and Other Critical Tales
  6. 6. Key messages The Rhetoric Reality Gap
  7. 7. Key messages
  8. 8. 1. Digital literacies…
  9. 9. 1. Digital literacies… • What is digital literacy? • Who is defining digital literacy? • What is missing from definitions? Framing questions…
  10. 10. “As the chapters that follow attest, the most immediately obvious facts about accounts of digital literacy are that there are many of them and that there are significantly different kinds of concepts on offer” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2008, p.2).
  11. 11. Identified over 100 models and frameworks which to greater or lesser extent purport to encapsulate the various dimensions of digital skills, literacies or competencies.
  12. 12. “I’ve been asked many times for a diagram of the eight essential elements, something that will fit nicely on a PowerPoint slide. While I can do so I feel that this perpetuates a problem I’ve seen time and time again... People over-specify an answer to a question that differs massively according to the context” (Doug Belshaw, 2015, p.58).
  13. 13. DigComp
  14. 14. For the purpose of this report we can define digital skills, literacies or competencies as .... “the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society, with the knowledge that a digital society is ever evolving” (p.18).
  15. 15. The uncertain future requires us to get off the rails
  16. 16. Critical Consumers Critical Citizens RECONCEPTUALIST FRAMEWORK (Delors Report, 1972) LEARNING TO BE LEARNING TO KNOW LEARNING TO DO LEARNING TO LIVE TOGETHER Critical Thinkers
  17. 17. 2. Refocusing the lens…
  18. 18. Running to catch a moving train... 2. Refocusing the lens…
  19. 19. “It is theory that decides what we can observe”
  20. 20. Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 • Openness • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES
  21. 21. “Frankly, all the computers and software and Internet connections in the world won’t do much good if young people don’t understand that access to new technology means… access to the new economy” (President Bill Clinton; cited in Cuban, 2001, p.18).
  22. 22. Knowledge Economy Learning Society Mark Brown, 2016 • Openness • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES
  23. 23. “Higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal...” The President said “…the role of the university in enabling citizens to develop the tools to address the great challenges of our time – global poverty, climate change and sustainability – was vital.
  24. 24. Different interest groups and stakeholders borrow the same ‘language of persuasion’ to legitimize their own agenda
  25. 25. Learning Society Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 • Openness • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • Reproducing • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage Reschooling • Competencies • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Increased market competition TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES
  26. 26. https://about.futurelearn.com/press-releases/futurelearn-delivers-the-largest-mooc-ever-as-nearly-400000-learners-convene-for-english-language-learning/
  27. 27. “UK MOOC snatches world record for sign-ups. UK quality beating US $$?”
  28. 28. Learning Society Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 Deschooling • Democratic • Opening access • Micro credentials • Personalized learning • Openness • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • Reproducing • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage Reschooling • Competencies • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Increased market competition TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES
  29. 29. Personalised Learning
  30. 30. ReconceptualizingDeschooling ReschoolingReproducing • Democratic • Opening access • Micro credentials • Personalized learning Learning Society Knowledge Economy Mark Brown, 2016 • Competencies • Entrepreneurship • Technology as progress • Increased market competition • Just society • Lifelong learning • Pillars of learning • Education for citizenry • Sifting agent • Human capital • Social cohension • Cultural heritage • Openness • Online Learning • Anytime Anywhere Learning eLearning • Digital Learning • Technology-enhanced Learning • TWO MAJOR PERSPECTIVES
  31. 31. 3. Designing for better futures…
  32. 32. What type of sustainable society do we want the use of new digital technology to serve? Framing question… 3. Designing for better futures…
  33. 33. Digital Humanities 1.0 - Online repositories Digital Humanities 2.0 - De-centrering knowledge Digital Humanities 3.0 - Education for active citizenry
  34. 34. The Placenames Database of Ireland, developed by Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU and The Placenames Branch (Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs).
  35. 35. Conclusion
  36. 36. Conclusion Three final remarks…. • Questions about literacy • Not on independent trajectory • Promote citizenry for better futures
  37. 37. Conclusion Critical Future Makers
  38. 38. Conclusion (adapted from Barnett, 2011) “Digital Humanities should allows us to explore new frontiers in the service of big ideas, not as a big idea in itself”
  39. 39. Go raibh maith agaibh!
  40. 40. Professor Mark Brown Director, National Institute for Digital Learning www.dcu.ie/nidlmark.brown@dcu.ie @mbrownz www.slideshare.net/mbrownz

Editor's Notes

  •  Thank you very much.
  • Put simply, the traditional degree is higher education's version of the bundle. As Ryan Craig (2015) points out bundling has been central to the higher education business model for centuries. Institutions combine content and a wide range of products and services into a single package, which generates revenue.
     
    However, this is a simplistic view as unbundling has many different faces. In this brief presentation, I will touch on six of these that have particular relevance to Irish higher education.
  • State of the Art vs State of the Actual
  • State of the Art vs State of the Actual
  • MB: The concept of digital literacy was first introduced back in 1997 and as this seminal book illustrates there are many and varied interpretations of this concept.
  • MB: In the UK JISC has published a number of models and frameworks for the HE sector which continue to evolve.
  • MB: The 8 elements of digital literacies arise out of Doug Belshaw’s doctoral research and notably he places a particular emphasis on critical and civic literacies which incorporate a socio-political perspective.
  • MB: As this quote shows he has also resisted requests to try to present the eight essential elements in a simple diagram as the instructional and institutional context is crucial.
  • MB: The European Commission is also active in this space with several projects underway in the area of open education and digital competences.
  • DB
  • This framework illustrates that there are two overarching perspectives influencing the debate: the tradition of the Learning Society and the influence of the Knowledge Economy. It is fair to say that a strong Knowledge Economy discourse is imbued in the languages of persuasion surrounding the unbundling movement.
  • Borrowing the words of President Michael Higgins, from this perspective higher education has a role in promoting more inclusive, participatory, equitable and sustainable futures for all.
  • Extending the metaphor by looking more deeply through the lens of a telescope we can better understand the grand narratives and some of the competing and co-existing discourses of persuasion surrounding the MOOC movement and online learning more generally.
  •  The Reschooling Discourse reflects efforts to reform the traditional higher education system through the language of disruption, modernisation and technology as progress. An inherent contradiction in this discourse is that major changes forces champion greater creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship—yet many unbundling initiatives perpetuate relatively instrumentalist views of education.
  • In contrast, the Deschooling Discourse reflects a constellation of perspectives sharing the view that traditional institutions are losing their monopoly on higher education. While on the surface the language of ‘unbundling’ promotes democracy, opening access and new learning pathways, the Deschooling discourse also supports the goals of deregulation and the free market.
  • The Reconceptualising Discourse builds on the original UNESCO pillars of learning—learning to be, learning to do, learning to know and learning to live together. It promotes life-long learning and skills and knowledge beyond mere preparation for work. The focus is on active participation in all aspects of society.
  • How the world has changed and how you can’t predict the future
    The impact your previous experience and perceptions have on the choices you make
    The influence of the teacher and how the more things change the more things stay the same

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