Last week I traveled to the 15th Annual Sloan-C Conference in sunny Orlando, Florida. It was a great conference with plenty of sessions to choose from. The only drawback was that the sessions were about 35 minutes long, so the presenters were racing to get through their information with little time for any real discussion; seemed to me to be somewhat like speed-dating.
The theme for me was faculty development for the online environment. It was very interesting to put side-by-side what we here in Distance Education at Texas Woman’s University are doing compared to the other institutions. Without prejudice, I believe we are much further along in our delivery of faculty development programs and service we are able to offer our faculty.
I was most intrigued by the Thursday morning breakfast speaker Andrew Keen. Keen, a British Entrepreneur who has dabbled in and around Silicon Valley, has become a mouthpiece for the concerns of Web 2.0 and the negative effects on our culture and authority. An interesting analogy was painted of the rise of the Internet and the 1960’s rise of the Hippie culture and a mistrust of one’s government ideology. I almost felt I was in the presence of the Ralph Nader of the Internet; the scary thing is I couldn’t really argue any of his points. The broad highway of the Internet does have a ditch on most sides and we are the ones that need to monitor this landscape of all edges and no center.
If you want to know more about Andrew Keen check out his Blog and Web Site at http://andrewkeen.typepad.com/ajkeenspeaking/bio.html.