Dispatch from #dml2011: Designing Learning Futures

It is quite early here in Long Beach, but I am still on EST, so I am taking advantage of my early rising to tap out a blog post here in the deserted vestibule where registration took place yesterday.

Then, of course, it was a different story. The place was abuzz with interesting conversations and ideas zinged past more quickly than I could hope to capture here.
For people like me, who love to move between practice and theory, the trenches and the ivory tower, this place feels a little like the promised land.

I also have to admit to having a serious case of imposter syndrome when I finally sat down to read the session descriptions and presenters. I still can’t believe that I was able to run a workshop here. To take an idea that Peter Kittle, Paul Oh, and I have been thinking about for so long and throw it to the most diverse, intelligent, thoughtful and creative people from across fields and sectors was a powerful and transformative experience for me. The conversation was so alive, vibrant, and deep. No assumption went untroubled, connections were made, and ideas were birthed.

And that’s pretty much how I felt as a participant yesterday, as well. I have more notes and tweets and jottings than I could possible curate into a coherent blog post at this point, so what I will do now is just make a list of the sessions I attended and the other ideas that, time permitting, I will blog about later:

–Performing Public Secrets: workshop by Stephanie Hendricks that examined the ways in which PostSecret represents abuse, and how the discourses around abuse occur across online spaces.

–Our session (with Peter Kittle and Paul Oh) is available on the Digital IS

–Thinking through code: DIY data-mining and the politics of off-topic forums (organizers: Lana Schwartz, Joshua McVeigh-Schults, and Kevin Driscoll): this was perhaps one of the most useful and interesting workshops I’ve done in a while, and for this data loving geek, it was speaking to my heart. I have the most notes from this session and cross my heart that I will link you up with the treasure trove of resources and ideas I got from this session.

–Opening Session keynote with ALICE TAYLOR!!!!! OMG!!! It was as awesome as you imagine.

–The Mozilla Science fair, complete with a robot making squeeze cheese crackers and the coolest, hippest geeks around. I had a great time and am leaving with a ton of ideas. My favorite so far was a late entry, Wikiotics, which is an open learning wiki for second-language learners. I will be using this in my adult literacy work this week.

Today is Friday, and I am in complete indecision about what I will see before I fly home. For more information in real-time, please follow the twitter stream: search the hashtag #dml2011. The conference goes through tomorrow: http://www.dmlcentral.net/conference2011