Control: Who has it & who wants it. That’s what it’s all about.
Our lives are increasingly entangled with immediate ways of receiving and creating meaning. Our ways of coming to know about people, places, experiences, and valued aspects of life continue to evolve in the moment. However, rather than providing inspiration to foster flows of ideas and innovation, it seems that social and cultural experiences often drive fence building.
This semester we touched on a range of digital practices (Pinterest, blogging, Twitter, Yammer, etc.) and brought those practices into institutional contexts to evaluate learning spaces. Integrating these practices with digital audio and video recording allowed us to open pathways to give voice to student and faculty perceptions of learning in particular campus locations. By focusing on our perceptions of places integrated with voices of experience, technology disrupted the institutional conception of classroom space evaluation and design. However, whether the voice of the few will be able to scale the fences of institutional routine is yet to be seen.
Our educational systems favor predictable, safe routines. Questions remain: When will the social push for innovation or perhaps unfettered access to investigate, create, recreate, and distribute outpace the established control mechanisms? When will concern over access to the portal or the device give way to open access to explore ways to come to know and make meaning? How might shifting power to learners offer opportunities to create new questions and innovate new inquiry pathways?