Monday, April 7, 2014

Peter Goodyear comment in response to Neil Selwyn

I decided to post from the conference having greatly enjoyed Neil Selwyn's keynote. I had been anticipating his session with Chris Jones for a while and would have loved Chris to have been able to participate more rather than keeping to the chairing role. Anyway, there were some useful contributions from the floor and one of those was from Peter Goodyear...

Pictures from Networked Learning Conference 2014"I enjoyed that talk much more than I really wanted to. The point that I keep grappling with is that if you've got the luxury of working for a living where what you have to produce can be critique then there is not so much of a problem with this. 
Many people who work in the edtech area do not earn their living in that way and they have to engage in various forms of action, and that action is very constrained by the politics, the economics, etc.  of the circumstances in which they're operating. And so, the question for me then is to what extent can a critical perspective, disposition or midset, become a resource for action in those constrained circumstances and it seems to me that part of the answer is to develop an ability to understand what the scope for action is in a specific set of circumstances so that one can ask questions about what is doable amongst a range of things that might be doable and what action one might then take.
And I think that gels with your notion of being modest about the effects that we can have and not trying to be revolutionary and change all the world.
The one thing I do then worry about is that if you've got the freedom to act as a critical commentator you can always trump that local action, you can always say, "hey, yeah, but it's pointless really'."

There were several other contributions from the floor which amounted to a plea along the same lines from where each person was speaking. Someone even admitted that pessimism was getting the better of them...

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