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HASTAC Conference notes: "The Future of Learning", and "The Future of Art" sessions

HASTAC Conference notes: "The Future of Learning", and "The Future of Art" sessions

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HASTAC Conference notes: The Future of Learning: Three Perspectives
9:00-10:30 a.m. - The Future of Learning: Three Perspectives

* Introductory Remarks: Provost Peter Lange, Duke University (DukeEngage)

Panelists:

* "Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning" Julia Stasch, Vice President, Human and Community Development, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
(http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org)
* "The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age" Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, (http://www.futureofthebook.org/HASTAC/learningreport/about/url)
* "A Public School Perspective on the Future of Learning" Dr. Carl Harris, Superintendent, Durham Public Schools,

Discussion Leader: Connie Yowell, Director for Digital Media, Learning and Education, MacArthur Foundation

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* "Building the Field of Digital Media and Learning" Julia Stasch, Vice President, Human and Community Development, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Assumptions/assertions/definitions:
School is a node for learning experiences.
Change comes from the edge.
Learn from young people. What young people do may lead to new theories and purpose and nature.

Questions being asked as part of this:

1. Are young people changing? if so, how? research, both quantitative and qualitative (Harvard, others)
Use of games, social networks, search engines - ethnographic studies being conducted on these topics.

Look for the 1st volume of Macarthur series on digital media, fall 2007.

Distinctions may blur as an effect of increased prevalence of technology. Producer/consumer, for example. (Other examples, I missed. )

2. Are learning environments changing? If so, how?
New framework for learning.

3. Are social institutions changing? Answer seems to be yes, but slow.
Libraries, youth-run groups.
Looking at an idea of a school built on game principles.

Competition on digital media and learning, $2m in prizes, this summer, run by HASTAC.
Online knowledge network coming from MacA.

More info at http://www.digitallearning.macfound.org

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* "The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age" Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg, (http://www.futureofthebook.org/HASTAC/learningreport/about/url)

(Cathy Davidson)
What is an institution in a digital age? An institution is a mobilizing network.

(David Goldberg)
What are young people learning, and where are they learning? What are the technes of facilitating that learning?

Idea: Brainstorming for next year's conference. "On the bus or off the bus" classic catchphrase. What about being on the bus? What can you do on the bus? A learning bus?

Don't get kids stuck in chairs, get them out. Experiential learning.

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Durham Public Schools (Nancy Hester, Terri Mozingo - one tech, one curriculum)

In education, kids come to class now as volunteers. Teachers must design classes that are engaging.

Would like to see all of Durham on WiFi network.

All textbook publishers Durham Public Schools now work with must have an online component available.

q&a, open remarks:
Dan Connolly - brand loyalty and attention. Can only keep track of so many things at one time.

Other (the weaving presenter from New Zealand): Ad hoc learning spaces. Be careful not to ghettoize children and isolate them from the older population. Intergenerational learning context can be immensely valuable. Are we looking at the older generations?

Tom Holden (sociology, NCSU). Calls the tech gap the "generation canyon".

Everyone needs a "third place", somewhere to hang out.

Other:
Bottom line is interface and access. Make it easy to get in.

Other:
One of the top-ranked PvP World of Warcraft (WoW) players is in a 2-man team with his dad. He says he's learned more about his dad in the last year than in the previous 40.

Guild created a sub-guild for the children of the players who were also in the guild, as a seaprate social structure. A third space for them in the form of a WoW guild. They're online on WoW already, adapt the structures available in the tech to support the needs of the people using it.

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12:30-2:00 p.m. Informal buffet lunch. 240 Franklin Center. Lunchtime conversation, "The Future of Art in a Digital Age"

Visual, sound, and multimedia artists (whose work will be performed or shown throughout the conference) address the problems and potentials of making art in a technological age.
Session Chair: Kristine Stiles, Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies, Duke University. Participants: Anya Belkina, Visual Artist, Rumi, Duke University; J-Bully (a.k.a. Robi Roberts), Rapper, MiX TAPEStry, Duke University; René Garcia, VJ, Video artist University of Southern California, Los Angeles; Suguru Goto, Bodysuit, Robotic Music, Visiting Artist, Ohio University; Scott Lindroth, Composer, Rumi, MiX TAPEstry, Duke University; Mendi + Keith Obadike, Music, Live Art, Conceptual Internet Art, Princeton University and William Paterson University

what does it mean to be an artist in a society with dense visual art?

Differing opinions: everyone's an artist, not everyone's an artist, everyone's an artist but some are good at it, art is pure and created to express it and not created

Rene:
Who is and is not an artist discussion is absurd. There's good/bad/fine/visual/outsider, it's all art.

What's the increase of technology being able to duplicate art?

J-B
Used to need to go to a recording studio. Now anyone can get online, get freeware, make music. Good and bad: leveled the playing field, everyone can do it, but not all good: people just want to make money. Result is often a watered-down field.

Keith:
As automated systems become more prevalent, because it's easier and cheaper, not take as long, and the lack of time for reflection on a project means that works get released with shrunken time for contemplation, and it gets out only half-baked.

RG:
The idea that creating art was a pure act in the past is sort of silly (silly is my word, not Rene's). Every tech is a tool.

Audience:
Makes music on computer, feels that she can never master a tool because the software changes. A piano player can play piano for a lifetime, and the piano is the same. Feels she can never get to the same level of skill.

David:
Art is not just a way to communicate, but something people do. People are getting to experience a way of thinking, a neurological process that

I want people to experience making art regardless of whether the art is good, because I want people to think in artistic ways.

JBully - I can take my students into a studio and help them record a rap song. They appreciate the art as the effort.

Audience:
Complaint that the ease of production means there's a lot of mediocre and bad work out there, and the good work by the serious artists gets buried and hidden by the mediocre and bad work.

Another:
Participation in the creative process can be satisfying, even if the results are not worth looking at.

As JSB pointed out, learning is one of the best forms of recreation.

Stockhausen, Hirst, their response to 9-11, the spectacle of the performativity of terror, how does this relate to Cho's videos he sent to NBC?
RG responds.

Audience:
Question of what do the artists invest in the concept of liveness in performance?

book _We Have Never Been Modern_
myths and stories of science, or differently phrased the social culture of science

One response from audience was to say that science has myths & stories is absolutely false
(strongly impassioned response, asserted that the myth of science over the millenia far exceeds any other human culture or effort. Discussion continued well after the panel broke up.)

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