Disruptive Technology? Although I was encouraged to take this class by a friend who was in the 2008 class, I quickly realized that the 2008, 2010, and 2012 versions of Disruptive Technology are all very different. And that makes a lot of sense given the constantly changing world of technology. So my friend, who said she came into the class not knowing how to do much more than plug in her computer, had a very different experience than I’m sure the 2010 group did and most certainly than our very special 2012 group of DTers have had. DT quickly became the class that I spent the most time and thought with from the very first week of the semester. I’m not sure if that was because I was never quite confident that I knew the direction in which we were going, or if it held a kind of fascination for me. I desperately wanted to understand what Wenger was saying and as I read, sometimes word by word, it was difficult for me to put together the pieces of his work. Although I still don’t have a clear understanding, I did wake up one day about 3/4 of the way through the semester and realized that Wenger was beginning to make a bit more sense to me. I think that was because I started to make connections with things I was reading in other classes and in other scholarly conversations in which I occasionally took part. One thing I think I would have liked, is to have had more dialogue in class with Julie, Roi, Laura, Phil, Michele, Dan, Scott and Cole around the readings, who I know could have guided me to a better understanding. So although I feel like I have a strong background as a practitioner, I’m still learning and growing as a scholar.
And then there was Occupy Learning. I actually enjoyed this part of the class, which began to take center stage in our work. Maybe I missed my calling as a roving, investigative, campus reporter because I found it interesting to interview students and instructors about university learning spaces and then connect their thoughts with the actual physical space. I know that Occupy Learning is only in its beginning stage of development, but I think it holds great potential for making a difference in how learning spaces are designed and whose input is considered. I hope to read more about this movement long after DT is over for spring 2012.
As a retired educator, it takes effort to keep moving forward with technology and this class has continued to push me along. I’m always interested, I just often need the scaffolding. And my new DT colleagues have been the perfect group to keep my mind open. Many thanks to my fellow Tigers, Roi and Laura who have answered my many questions and have been patient with my obsession to have everything done 24 hours after it has been assigned. It will be a class to remember.