Digital Media & Learning Conference 2012: Learning Innovations in a Connected World

The 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference, it’s being announced today, will explore the richer, deeper learning enabled by the emergence of Web-enabled, mobile-based platforms that promote new models of peer-to-peer learning, anywhere/anytime learning, blended learning and game-based learning, both in school and out of school. The conference, to be held in San Francisco Mar. 1-3, 2012, will feature four core threads – democratizing learning innovation, innovations for public education, re-imagining media for learning, and making/tinkering/remixing – and steer headlong into pressing debates around the role of technology and the future of education and learning, including: 

* What are the primary purposes and practices of education, and how can technology accelerate or decelerate them?
* When we talk about disruptive technologies, what systems and players are we really seeking to change and to what end?
* What sectors, institutions and populations are we mobilizing for innovation and for whom are we mobilizing them?
* How do we design, build and fund infrastructures around new connections across and configurations of learning?
* How do we cultivate a healthy, symbiotic ecosystem of innovation that leads to a future of Connected Learning?

All the details about the call for papers, proposals, and panels can be found at the conference website

The chair for the 2012 conference is Diana Rhoten, senior vice president for strategy in the new Education Division at News Corp. Prior to this role, Diana cofounded and codirected Startl, a social enterprise dedicated to accelerating startups in the education technology and digital learning markets. In an impassioned video interview about the aspirations for the conference, Diana spoke of the urgent need for academic researchers, practitioners, teachers, technologists, as well as entrepreneurs and investors, to join together in the cause of a learning renaissance:

I really think we are at a critical juncture. What I know from having tried to address the question of reform and innovation and redesign in this field from a variety of different seats, wearing a variety of different hats, is that no one can do this alone.

We are seeking to create a diversified audience and to really be provocative in the sessions so that we can go back on some of these assumptions that are unspoken…and get these different stakeholders talking to each other…so we can start figuring out how to do this in a collaborative fashion.

Many of the conversations in the newer digital media and learning conversation have been outside of the school system. How do we bring that very innovative thinking and practice into the school system?

Our keynote, John Seely Brown, better than anyone I know, could set up the tension between what is the future of education and how we think about it both from a school-based perspective as well as understanding how this is an in-school and out-of-school challenge. JSB comes at this topic not only from understanding that tension, but understanding how to look at that tension from the role of a researcher, from an investor, from a practitioner, and just a general thought leader in the field.

Banner image credit: DML Competition