#edcmooc resources and recommended readings
Illustration by Guy Billout "Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?”
Transhumanism for me is like a relationship with an obsessive and very neurotic lover. Knowing it is deeply flawed, I have tried several times to break off my engagement, but each time it manages to creep in through the back door of my mind. In How We Became Posthuman ,1 I identified an undergirding assumption that makes possible such predictions as Hans Moravec’s transhumanist fantasy that we will soon be able to upload our consciousness into computers and leave our bodies behind. I argued that this scenario depends on a decontextualized and disembodied construction of information.
Humanity stands to be profoundly affected by science and technology in the future. We envision the possibility of broadening human potential by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth. We believe that humanity’s potential is still mostly unrealized.
1. What is Transhumanism? Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades.  It promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology.
In 1922 Thomas Edison proclaimed, “I believe the motion picture is destined to revolutionize our educational system and that in a few years it will supplant largely, if not entirely, the use of textbooks.” Thus began a long string of spectacularly wrong predictions regarding the capacity of various technologies to revolutionize education. What betrayed Edison and his successors was an uncritical faith in technology itself. This faith has become a sort of ideology increasingly dominating K-12 education.
Douglas E. Hersh’s close crop of auburn hair and neatly trimmed goatee are clearly visible in an expandable window on my desktop. So are his light tweed blazer and matching tie. On a table behind his desk sits a purple orchid, lending color to his office -- 2,600 miles away from mine.
The inspiration for TEDx Warwick 09 is simple, just like TED. Why not empower students with ideas of the future in which they will live so that they can carry on the tradition by giving birth to new ideas about the future beyond theirs? This captures the essence of our event and we hope that you can see in it what we, and a strong following around the world see - that ideas drive the human race. TEDx Warwick 09 is an independently organised event, managed and produced by students at the University of Warwick and licensed under the TEDx programme. The event is the first of its kind in the UK.
Below you'll find lnks to downloadable editions of the text of Little Brother. These downloads are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license , which lets you share it, remix it, and share your remixes, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis. Some people don't understand why I do this -- so check out this post if you want my topline explanation for why I do this crazy thing . It's kind of a tradition around here that my readers convert my ebooks to their favorite formats and send them to me here, and it's one that I love! If you've converted these files to another format, send them to me and I'll host them, but before you do, make sure you read the following: <p style="text-align:right;color:#A8A8A8"></p>
A hundred years ago, higher education seemed on the verge of a technological revolution. The spread of a powerful new communication network—the modern postal system—had made it possible for universities to distribute their lessons beyond the bounds of their campuses. Anyone with a mailbox could enroll in a class. Frederick Jackson Turner, the famed University of Wisconsin historian, wrote that the “machinery” of distance learning would carry “irrigating streams of education into the arid regions” of the country. Sensing a historic opportunity to reach new students and garner new revenues, schools rushed to set up correspondence divisions. By the 1920s, postal courses had become a full-blown mania.
They included Patrycja Jablonska in Poland, Ephraim Baron in California, Mohammad Hijazi in Lebanon and many others far from Baltimore who ordinarily would not have a chance to study at the elite Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They logged on to a Web site called Coursera and signed up. They paid nothing for it. These students, a sliver of the more than 1.7 million who have registered with Coursera since April, reflect a surge of interest this year in free online learning that could reshape higher education. The phenomenon puts big issues on the table: the growth of tuition, the role of a professor, the definition of a student, the value of a degree and even the mission of universities. “Massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, have caught fire in academia.
I’ve seen my share of conference keynotes, some tedious, some exhilarating, many forgettable. But I have never seen a keynote quite like the one delivered by Gardner Campbell on the morning of the first day of the OpenEd Conference . In fact, calling it a keynote is a disservice. It was more of a meditation.
Ecology of ideas -- Bateson Bateson's Hierarchy of Learning Zero learning: "receipt of signal." No error possible Learning 1: "change in specificity of response by correction of errors of choice within a set of alternatives."
Clay Shirky is a big thinker, and I read him because he’s consistently worth reading. But he’s not always right – and his thinking (and the flaws in it) is typical of the unquestioning enthusiasm of many thinkers today about technology and higher education. In his recent piece on "Napster, Udacity, and the Academy," for example, Shirky is not only guardedly optimistic about the ways that MOOCs and online education will transform higher education, but he takes for granted that they will, that there is no alternative.
Fifteen years ago, a research group called The Fraunhofer Institute announced a new digital format for compressing movie files. This wasn’t a terribly momentous invention, but it did have one interesting side effect: Fraunhofer also had to figure out how to compress the soundtrack. The result was the Motion Picture Experts Group Format 1, Audio Layer III , a format you know and love, though only by its acronym, MP3. The recording industry concluded this new audio format would be no threat, because quality mattered most. Who would listen to an MP3 when they could buy a better-sounding CD at the record store?
Filmmaker Bios Michael McMillian Writer, Director, Producer Michael McMillian’s film and television work includes playing Reverend Steve Newlin on HBO’s True Blood and leading roles in Dorian Blues, What I Like About You, and Saved . Other credits include Veronica Mars , The Hills Have Eyes 2 , Big Love , The Mentalist , and Firefly . McMillian co-wrote and produced the award-winning short film Glock , co-wrote the full-length feature film The New Life , created and wrote the graphic novel Lucid , and co-wrote True Blood: Tainted Love .