Wednesday, November 03, 2010

DevLearn 10

I'm at DevLearn 10. It's not as good as other conferences I've been to, and after Educause last month, seems down right puny. The day started out great with a "breakfast Bytes" session run by Terrance Wing. The topic was social media, and although Terrance had some opinions about the subject, he kept things low key. The most important take away was this: If you want to incorporate social media into your learning, find a problem and then ask the group to solve it. That appealed to my little constructivist heart. He also discussed the issues that arise between control (of information, of knowledge, of brand) and the democratizing force of social media. Honey, that ship has sailed. The mantra of my generation: Power to the people has come to pass. The power is with the people, get over it. The problem now is that companies will be pretending that hasn't happened, and be missing the boat. It makes me think of the story my marketing teacher in business school used to tell about the development of transistors. That technology was known to US manufacturers, but there was such an investment in vacuum tubes that we didn't go there. So Japan, who was forced by WWII agreements to not have a standing army and had gobs of money to invest, invested in transistors. And the rest is history.

So we need to realize that social media is a part of the equation. It is democratizing by nature. And it will not be controlled.

So what are you going to do about it?