free as in freedom

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Playground. Linda Gillard (c) University of Edinburgh Digital Image Collections CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 ECA Collection

I spent some of last week playing in  the trade exhibition and ‘Start-up alley‘ at Educause conference.

For a technology conference which has its keynotes in a main hall for several thousand people, the Educause presentations were charmingly retro and hardly technology-enhanced at all.

Clay Christiansen (62) spoke about distruptive innovation using slides featuring  small type, clip art, serif fonts, copyright assertions and some oddly watermarked images. He modelled the Harvard experience in front of an audience of 4000. He asked us to pray for Harvard Business School. Which we did.

Later on, national treasure Doris Kearns Goodwin (71) lectured for an hour reading rapidly from a pre-written paper accompanied by no visual aids. The audience hung on her every word. More proof, were it needed, that learning technology is grounded in the liberal arts.

I went sessions and presentations about the recent  shifts in the open source open communities: Apereo, Kauli and Unizin. There was a lot of talk about freedom and control.

I was surprised how many people wanted to discuss the recent Scottish referendum. More talk of freedom and control.

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