The organisers of eLearning Korea 2017 have invited me to give a talk on the future of education and educational technology. The conference has a curious byline “a happy encounter with new technology”, and it's to this byline I target the presentation.
I aim to acknowledge the unhappiness created by technology and propose humanism to ward off technocratic tyranny and to discover what technological happiness might be.
I hope my proposition is clear - that for there to be a happy encounter with technology, we need to re-orientate ourselves to humanist perspectives. Those perspectives can be found in history, philosophy, ethics, anthropology, theory, art, storytelling, questioning, criticism and debate. Sensitivity to humanism needs to be nurtured, the ember that might make a flame seems at risk of being extinguished.
It is with humility and hope that I offer this idea to the eLearning Korea 2017 Conference.
Please play this video as background: The Mother of All Demos Douglas Engelbart Et al 1968
- 30 August 2017 Presented Rehumanised to eLearning Korea. Notes here on the idea that Free content and public education is infrastructure in the "knowledge economy".
- 28 August 2017 Meeting with Rob Watts, notes to Merlin Donald and his book Origins of the Modern Mind; Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and his book The Leopard; Michael Corballis and his book Recursive Mind; Douglas Richard Hofstadter and An Eternal Golden Braid; Axial Age; Gore Vidal's Creation.
- 22 August 2017 Stephen Downes cites the presentation in OLDaily, introducing me to the work of Davide F Noble. I watched several video recordings of his presentations, noting his presentation to University Of Virginia about the various legal issues surrounding early Distance Learning initiatives at University of California. Also noted is the documentary about David called, A Wrench in the Gears (this link being part 5/8).
- 21 August 2017 Text version with each slide posted to my blog, subsequent discussion on TALO email group.
- 18 August 2017 Deadline for finished slide presentation for eLearning Korea. PDF copy of the slides loaded to WIkiversity and embedded here, and the summary text changed to match the presentation's text.
- 9 August 2017 a week ago I searched "Humanist Technology" and came across a valuable blog post by Michael Sacasas called Humanist technology criticism compiled in 2015. In it he cites a good number of significant works across a 200 year period that have contributed to the question around technology and humanity. I've finished reading all those links, but wanted to note here what Sacasas distilled from the collection - a set of 5 principles:
- "That said, I would suggest that a humanist critique of technology entails a preference for technology that:
- (1) operates at a humane scale,
- (2) works toward humane ends,
- (3) allows for the fullest possible flourishing of a person’s capabilities,
- (4) does not obfuscate moral responsibility, and
- (5) acknowledges certain limitations to what we might quaintly call the human condition.