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Learning with digital provocations
Dr Jen Ross, Centre for Research in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh
let’s talk about disruption
wewon31, Shadow Puppets. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wewon31/9519396833
Disruption Bingo
• Universities and schools are broken, failing, out of date
• Digital natives/millenials/?? demand, expect, deserve
• Teachers resist
• Efficiency, speed, simplicity through better technology!
• Personalisation/individualisation is key
• Satisfaction guaranteed
2008
• “In 2013, we witnessed aggressive discounting strategies as well as schools experimenting with
lowering net — not sticker — prices in an effort to recruit students.”
• “Free access to content from prestigious institutions revealed that content didn’t need to be
proprietary.”
• “Faculty have been forced to reassess how and why they teach the way they do.”
• …“Many colleges and universities resist the idea of training students for jobs. Yet it is employers
who are truly the ultimate consumers of degree-holders.”
https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/05/09/moocs-disruption-only-beginning/S2VlsXpK6rzRx4DMrS4ADM/story.html
http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21646986-online-learning-could-
disrupt-higher-education-many-universities-are-resisting-it-not
“Remember the days when many of us had a Blockbuster video card? If
you didn’t have one you couldn’t rent a VHS tape of your favorite movie.
If you did, the joy of watching the latest released movie was often
squashed upon our arrival to the store as all the copies were quickly
rented out. This didn’t change much when we saw the shift from VHS to
DVD. So where is Blockbuster today?”
By Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“In many ways I see similarities between schools and our
education system to Blockbuster, Blackberry, and the taxicab
industry. Even though there has been incremental change
resulting in some isolated pockets of excellence in schools
across the world, system change has been hard to come by. By
employing disruptive strategies we can begin the process of
creating a more relevant learning culture for our students. If
we don’t, history has already provided a glimpse as to what
might happen.”
- Education Is Ripe for Disruption, Sheninger 2016,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-sheninger/education-is-ripe-for-
dis_b_11767198.html
http://www.clipartkid.com/school-closed-sign-the-school-is-closed-qTCib5-clipart/
https://tmt.knect365.com/future-edtech/
Bitcoin is a digital currency in which transactions can
be performed without the need for a credit card or
central bank... The blockchain is a public ledger of all
transactions in the Bitcoin network.
https://blockchain.info/wallet/bitcoin-faq
http://recode.net/2015/07/05/forget-bitcoin-what-is-the-blockchain-and-why-should-you-care/
let’s put health records, voting, ownership documents,
marriage licenses and lawsuits in the blockchain.
Eventually, every dataset and every digital transaction
could leave a “fingerprint” there, creating an audit trail
for any digital event throughout history, without
compromising anyone’s personal privacy. [blockchain]
could introduce a level of democracy and objective
“truth” to the digital world that even the physical world
can’t match. Its promise involves a future in which no
one has absolute power online, and no one can lie
about past or current events.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqVRSe9nHY0
“the blockchain
represents nothing less
than the second
generation of the Internet,
and it holds the potential
to disrupt money,
business, government,
and yes, higher
education.”
(Tapscott & Tapscott
2017)
http://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/3/the-blockchain-revolution-and-higher-
https://thenextweb.com/apps/2017/04/28/google-opens-up-classroom-so-anyone-can-now-become-a-teacher/#
who & what is being
disrupted?
Critical questions to ask about disruption
(Selwyn 2015, p183)
deeply conservative assumptions
[Technology Enhanced Learning] carries with it a set of
discursive limitations and deeply conservative
assumptions which actively limit our capacity to be
critical about education and its relation to technology. At
the same time, it fails to do justice equally to the
disruptive, disturbing and generative dimensions of
the academy’s enmeshment with the digital.
(Bayne 2015, p.7)
from knowledge to content
“The fantasy [of openness] appears to be one of total
liberation from the perceived constraints of formal study,
the rigours of assessment and engagement with
expertise and established bodies of (contestable)
knowledge, all of which are activities deemed
hierarchical and repressive of creativity. The emphasis is
instead reduced to access and the online generation of
‘content’ – which carries with it a further powerful fantasy
of unfettered human potential which can be unlocked
unproblematically in informal lay interaction.
(Gourlay 2015, p.8)
“Uber for education”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJShaktigoo#t=27m09s (to 28:55)
Alex Norris, http://webcomicname.com/
• ‘technologies are subjected continually to complex
interactions and negotiations with the social, economic,
political and cultural contexts into which they are
situated.’(Selwyn 2012, 214–15)
• Emerging technologies in education are ‘not yet fully
understood’ and ‘not yet fully researched, or
researched in a mature way’ (Veletsianos 2010, 15).
• Practices, identities, pedagogies and technologies can
be marked by this ‘not-yetness’ (Ross & Collier 2016).
detail from White, No. 3, Yael Kanarek’s notyetness exhibition; https://www.artsy.net/artwork/yael-kanarek-white-no-3
• works in the service of a messier understanding of
what constitutes higher education, and how
technologies act in this space;
• engages with complexity, uncertainty and risk, not as
factors to be minimised or resolved, but as necessary
dimensions of technologies and practices which are
unknown and in flux.
not-yetness
➤is ‘explicitly oriented towards an investigation of the
open-endedness of the social world. … the happening
of the social world – its ongoingness, relationality,
contingency and sensuousness’ (Lury and Wakeford
2012, 2).
➤is aimed at envisioning or crafting futures or
conditions which may not yet currently exist.
➤provokes new ways of thinking and brings particular
ideas or issues into focus.
➤may blur boundaries between research, design and
teaching.
➤involves considerations around epistemology,
temporality and performativity.
T Hisgett, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coloured_Lights_1_(5129802026).jpg
speculative (or inventive) method
epistemology
➤ the ‘answerability’ of a
problem is introduced by
crafting a method
specifically to address that
problem. (Lury & Wakeford
2012)
➤ methodology is ‘a process of
asking inventive, that is,
more provocative questions’
(Wilkie, Michael, and
Plummer-Fernandez 2015,
4)
dan pancamo, hummingbird aerodynamics, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummingbird#/media/File:Hummingbird_Aerodynamics_of_flight.jpg; CC : BY-SA
temporality
• visions of the future
generate effects in the
present.
• the effectiveness of
inventive methods ‘cannot
be secured in advance’
(Lury & Wakeford 2012)
• our fictions and inventions
are shaped by issues we
inherit, and closed off from
futures we can’t yet
imagine.
performativity
Speculative
methods act by
engaging
publics.
https://www.hackread.com/twitter-bot-ffd8ffdb-spying-posting-creepy-images/
asuscreative, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_behaviour#/media/File:Kilobot_robot_swarm.JPG , CC:BY-SA
jointly owned and managed by Tate & National
Galleries of Scotland
a collection of more than 1,600 works of
international contemporary art acquired in 2008
by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate.
shared throughout the UK in a programme of
exhibitions organised in collaboration with local
associate galleries.
aims to ensure the collection engages new,
young audiences.
with the present levels of
knowledge around aesthetic
reception, it is not possible to
make any meaningful broad
generalization about how people
respond to the arts, and if or how
they might be affected by the
experience. Even less plausible is
the possibility of actually
“measuring” any of these aspects.
(Belfiore & Bennett 2010, p.126)
Mobilities theory offers new readings of evaluation that can
examine individual responses to artworks in the context of
larger scale movements of ideas and affects, between and
amongst the human beings and materialities of the exhibition
“it is always possible to take an individual object and place it in
a new framework or see it in a new way. The lack of definitive
and final articulation of significance keeps objects endlessly
mysterious – the next person to attach meaning to it may see
something unseen by anyone else before.”
(Hooper-Greenhill 2000, 115)
Artcasting content is requested and is able to be
interpreted by gallery professionals for
accountability, audience development, and other
purposes.
But artcasting is also a
form of public
interpretation of the
artwork, and visitors are
creating new encounters
with art in new places and
times. The guest
becomes the host of a
new exhibition.
• unfolds across multiple times and
spaces
• involves the ‘unknowable other’
• challenges the stability of
relationships
• invites a rethinking of hospitality
digital co-production:
janwillemsen: zoogdieren 2, https://www.flickr.com/photos/8725928@N02/7490098348
Thanks
• jen.ross@ed.ac.uk
• @jar on Twitter
• more about the manifesto, teacherbot, LARC &
artcasting at http://www.de.ed.ac.uk

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Learning with Digital Provocations

  • 1. Learning with digital provocations Dr Jen Ross, Centre for Research in Digital Education, University of Edinburgh
  • 2. let’s talk about disruption wewon31, Shadow Puppets. https://www.flickr.com/photos/wewon31/9519396833
  • 3. Disruption Bingo • Universities and schools are broken, failing, out of date • Digital natives/millenials/?? demand, expect, deserve • Teachers resist • Efficiency, speed, simplicity through better technology! • Personalisation/individualisation is key • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • 5. • “In 2013, we witnessed aggressive discounting strategies as well as schools experimenting with lowering net — not sticker — prices in an effort to recruit students.” • “Free access to content from prestigious institutions revealed that content didn’t need to be proprietary.” • “Faculty have been forced to reassess how and why they teach the way they do.” • …“Many colleges and universities resist the idea of training students for jobs. Yet it is employers who are truly the ultimate consumers of degree-holders.” https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/05/09/moocs-disruption-only-beginning/S2VlsXpK6rzRx4DMrS4ADM/story.html
  • 7. “Remember the days when many of us had a Blockbuster video card? If you didn’t have one you couldn’t rent a VHS tape of your favorite movie. If you did, the joy of watching the latest released movie was often squashed upon our arrival to the store as all the copies were quickly rented out. This didn’t change much when we saw the shift from VHS to DVD. So where is Blockbuster today?” By Rept0n1x (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
  • 8. “In many ways I see similarities between schools and our education system to Blockbuster, Blackberry, and the taxicab industry. Even though there has been incremental change resulting in some isolated pockets of excellence in schools across the world, system change has been hard to come by. By employing disruptive strategies we can begin the process of creating a more relevant learning culture for our students. If we don’t, history has already provided a glimpse as to what might happen.” - Education Is Ripe for Disruption, Sheninger 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-sheninger/education-is-ripe-for- dis_b_11767198.html http://www.clipartkid.com/school-closed-sign-the-school-is-closed-qTCib5-clipart/
  • 10. Bitcoin is a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a credit card or central bank... The blockchain is a public ledger of all transactions in the Bitcoin network. https://blockchain.info/wallet/bitcoin-faq
  • 11. http://recode.net/2015/07/05/forget-bitcoin-what-is-the-blockchain-and-why-should-you-care/ let’s put health records, voting, ownership documents, marriage licenses and lawsuits in the blockchain. Eventually, every dataset and every digital transaction could leave a “fingerprint” there, creating an audit trail for any digital event throughout history, without compromising anyone’s personal privacy. [blockchain] could introduce a level of democracy and objective “truth” to the digital world that even the physical world can’t match. Its promise involves a future in which no one has absolute power online, and no one can lie about past or current events.
  • 13. “the blockchain represents nothing less than the second generation of the Internet, and it holds the potential to disrupt money, business, government, and yes, higher education.” (Tapscott & Tapscott 2017) http://er.educause.edu/articles/2017/3/the-blockchain-revolution-and-higher-
  • 14.
  • 16. who & what is being disrupted?
  • 17. Critical questions to ask about disruption (Selwyn 2015, p183)
  • 18. deeply conservative assumptions [Technology Enhanced Learning] carries with it a set of discursive limitations and deeply conservative assumptions which actively limit our capacity to be critical about education and its relation to technology. At the same time, it fails to do justice equally to the disruptive, disturbing and generative dimensions of the academy’s enmeshment with the digital. (Bayne 2015, p.7)
  • 19. from knowledge to content “The fantasy [of openness] appears to be one of total liberation from the perceived constraints of formal study, the rigours of assessment and engagement with expertise and established bodies of (contestable) knowledge, all of which are activities deemed hierarchical and repressive of creativity. The emphasis is instead reduced to access and the online generation of ‘content’ – which carries with it a further powerful fantasy of unfettered human potential which can be unlocked unproblematically in informal lay interaction. (Gourlay 2015, p.8)
  • 22.
  • 23.
  • 24. • ‘technologies are subjected continually to complex interactions and negotiations with the social, economic, political and cultural contexts into which they are situated.’(Selwyn 2012, 214–15) • Emerging technologies in education are ‘not yet fully understood’ and ‘not yet fully researched, or researched in a mature way’ (Veletsianos 2010, 15). • Practices, identities, pedagogies and technologies can be marked by this ‘not-yetness’ (Ross & Collier 2016). detail from White, No. 3, Yael Kanarek’s notyetness exhibition; https://www.artsy.net/artwork/yael-kanarek-white-no-3
  • 25. • works in the service of a messier understanding of what constitutes higher education, and how technologies act in this space; • engages with complexity, uncertainty and risk, not as factors to be minimised or resolved, but as necessary dimensions of technologies and practices which are unknown and in flux. not-yetness
  • 26. ➤is ‘explicitly oriented towards an investigation of the open-endedness of the social world. … the happening of the social world – its ongoingness, relationality, contingency and sensuousness’ (Lury and Wakeford 2012, 2). ➤is aimed at envisioning or crafting futures or conditions which may not yet currently exist. ➤provokes new ways of thinking and brings particular ideas or issues into focus. ➤may blur boundaries between research, design and teaching. ➤involves considerations around epistemology, temporality and performativity. T Hisgett, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coloured_Lights_1_(5129802026).jpg speculative (or inventive) method
  • 27. epistemology ➤ the ‘answerability’ of a problem is introduced by crafting a method specifically to address that problem. (Lury & Wakeford 2012) ➤ methodology is ‘a process of asking inventive, that is, more provocative questions’ (Wilkie, Michael, and Plummer-Fernandez 2015, 4) dan pancamo, hummingbird aerodynamics, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hummingbird#/media/File:Hummingbird_Aerodynamics_of_flight.jpg; CC : BY-SA
  • 28. temporality • visions of the future generate effects in the present. • the effectiveness of inventive methods ‘cannot be secured in advance’ (Lury & Wakeford 2012) • our fictions and inventions are shaped by issues we inherit, and closed off from futures we can’t yet imagine.
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34.
  • 35. jointly owned and managed by Tate & National Galleries of Scotland a collection of more than 1,600 works of international contemporary art acquired in 2008 by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. shared throughout the UK in a programme of exhibitions organised in collaboration with local associate galleries. aims to ensure the collection engages new, young audiences.
  • 36. with the present levels of knowledge around aesthetic reception, it is not possible to make any meaningful broad generalization about how people respond to the arts, and if or how they might be affected by the experience. Even less plausible is the possibility of actually “measuring” any of these aspects. (Belfiore & Bennett 2010, p.126)
  • 37.
  • 38.
  • 39.
  • 40.
  • 41.
  • 42.
  • 43.
  • 44.
  • 45.
  • 46. Mobilities theory offers new readings of evaluation that can examine individual responses to artworks in the context of larger scale movements of ideas and affects, between and amongst the human beings and materialities of the exhibition “it is always possible to take an individual object and place it in a new framework or see it in a new way. The lack of definitive and final articulation of significance keeps objects endlessly mysterious – the next person to attach meaning to it may see something unseen by anyone else before.” (Hooper-Greenhill 2000, 115)
  • 47. Artcasting content is requested and is able to be interpreted by gallery professionals for accountability, audience development, and other purposes.
  • 48. But artcasting is also a form of public interpretation of the artwork, and visitors are creating new encounters with art in new places and times. The guest becomes the host of a new exhibition.
  • 49. • unfolds across multiple times and spaces • involves the ‘unknowable other’ • challenges the stability of relationships • invites a rethinking of hospitality digital co-production:
  • 50. janwillemsen: zoogdieren 2, https://www.flickr.com/photos/8725928@N02/7490098348
  • 51. Thanks • jen.ross@ed.ac.uk • @jar on Twitter • more about the manifesto, teacherbot, LARC & artcasting at http://www.de.ed.ac.uk

Editor's Notes

  1. Veletsianos, G. 2010. Emerging Technologies in Distance Education. Athabasca University Press. Accessed February 24. http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120177. Collier, A., and Ross, J. 2016. “Complexity, Mess and not-Yetness: Teaching Online with Emerging Technologies.” In Emergence and Innovation in Digital Learning: Foundations and Applications, edited by G. Veletsianos. Athabasca University Press.
  2. Lury, C., and N. Wakeford. 2012. Inventive Methods: The Happening of the Social. London: Routledge.,
  3. Wilkie, A., M. Michael, and M. Plummer-Fernandez. 2015. “Speculative Method and Twitter: Bots, Energy and Three Conceptual Characters.” The Sociological Review 63 (1): 79–101. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12168
  4. Gonzatto, R. F., F. M. C. van Amstel, L. E. Merkle, and T. Hartmann. 2013. “The Ideology of the Future in Design Fictions.” Digital Creativity 24 (1): 36–45. doi: 10.1080/14626268.2013.772524
  5. Wilkie, A., M. Michael, and M. Plummer-Fernandez. 2015. “Speculative Method and Twitter: Bots, Energy and Three Conceptual Characters.” The Sociological Review 63 (1): 79–101. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12168
  6. Selwyn, N. 2012. “Ten Suggestions for Improving Academic Research in Education and Technology.” Learning, Media and Technology 37 (3): 213–219. doi: 10.1080/17439884.2012.680213