A couple of weeks ago I had the distinct pleasure of delivering the closing plenary session at the Elon University’s 8th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference. Katie King, Ben McFadyen, and Claudia Sparks were awesome, and special thanks to Peter Felton for bringing me there and actually encouraging me to talk about ds106. The day was set up brilliantly, Ray Land gave the opening keynote in which he talked about “Threshhold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge” (which you can see in its entirety here). His idea of “a pedagogy of uncertainty” went really well with the second half of my talk which was about the ds106 Summer of Oblivion, so I decided to steal it and use it in my closing plenary. The first part of my talk is an overview of what UMW has done with UMW Blogs and the seemingly endless potential for an open source, open access publishing platform to frame an online community of thought at a university. As you might have guessed, I have talked about this a lot over the last 4 or 5 years.
The second half of this talk was really the first time I had an extended period of time to think about and share just how trippy, frightening, and amazing the ds106 Summer of Oblivion class was for me. From about the 20 minute mark in this presentation until the 50 minute mark I try and work through some initial thoughts about what ds106 might be about, and how the Summer of Oblivion reinforced for me just how much the world of online learning is completely unexplored in terms of experimentation and a variety of approaches. This opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without the fine folks at Elon who were so cool in inviting me and letting me go hog wild, so thanks to them as well as everyone who helped make the Summer of Oblivion possible—I gave many of you kudos in the talk, but as always there are many, many more I missed.