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7 July 2011 / erikduval

Open Hong Kong

At the CSCL conference in Hong Kong, I had the honor of doing a keynote today “On the importance of being open” (recording of the presentation).

A nice touch was that Dan Suthers was scheduled as a ‘discussant’ after my talk – the basic idea was that he would give an immediate reaction to my talk. The more so as I finished my slides at late notice (as always), which means that Dan had very little time to prepare this, he did an excellent job. His slides are below:

As I am a meta-person, I’ll make some comments here about Dan’s comments on my talk 😉

Dan was nice enough to first include a positive slide 😉

Now I agree with him that this work also has its scary parts: I mentioned in my talk that I have tweeted about Ai Wei Wei and was reading about him on the flight into Hong Kong. What if I was flying into Beijing instead, and what if I had one of my trackers on my iPad and what if the Chinese government tapped into all that information? Would my entry into China have been as smooth as my entry into HK was? Then again, as I mentioned in my talk as well, there are technical approaches to make sure at least that we know when we are being tracked (see ghostery for instance). How do you feel about this: is it OK to track if we are open about it and can use it to the advantage of the person being tracked? Or do you think this is too scary?

Dan also wondered about the cultural bias in open learning. I don’t know about that one. I understand that different cultures have different approaches to privacy and sharing. But we do live in a more and more global world, and I’m not sure we’re doing anyone a service by encouraging them to not engage with the rest of the world. Also in my culture, people say that “Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés” (in order to live happily, hide), which is something I think we should leave behind… Anyway, would be nice to follow up on this concern with a targeted study. Or maybe people have already looked at this? Suggestions anyone?

The hard question Dan raises is that learning is about more than just access to information and interaction with others. That may be true. But it is information access and social interaction that we can rather dramatically improve with technology. So let’s not wait until we more fully understand learning and do some useful things now already. Actually, what else could we do with technology to improve learning? And what are we missing that is critical to learning? Again, suggestions?

Thanks, Dan and the twitterati, for helping to turn my talk into a conversation – looking forward to more comments…


One Comment

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  1. yeung lee / Jul 7 2011 12:34 pm

    very nice talk. Thank you.

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