Table of Contents

  1. It is easy to fall in love with technology... (by danah boyd) (95)
  2. The Stars our Destination (by Gardner Campbell) (12)
  3. Tactics and Haptics and a Future That’s Now (by Holly Willis) (13)

nmc The New Media Consortium
is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of more than 280 learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. (more...)


The future is what we make it

The 2009 NMC Symposium for the Future will take place October 27-29, 2009, and is the fourteenth in the NMC’s Series of Virtual Symposia. During this symposium we will explore actual and potential applications of technology that could impact issues of global importance over the next five years and beyond.

Technologies and practices that are just beginning to show promise in an educational or social context may well be commonplace in that time frame. The applicability of technology — whether established or emerging — to the social, environmental, and educational challenges we face today is the central theme of the Symposium. Projects that test the applicability of new ideas, research into new solutions for global problems, and demonstrations of cutting-edge tools are all part of this exploration of the future.

To generate dialog and discussion around the topic, and to help prospective proposal writers to frame their ideas about the conference themes, we invited danah boyd (Microsoft Research and the Berkman Center, Harvard), Gardner Campbell (Baylor University), and Holly Willis (The Institute for Multimedia Literacy, USC), all people who have thought quite a bit about ideas behind this symposium, to craft a series of essays from three distinct perspectives on the topic. Each of them has created an outstanding piece of writing that you will find stimulating and provocative.

We invite you to consider their thoughts, and to add to it by posting your own thoughts in response. (Just follow the links at the upper right.) In this CommentPress format, you will find it easy to comment on the gestalt of the piece or individual paragraphs in each of the three essays. Please add your voice to the discussion!

About the Symposium

The NMC Symposium for the Future is an annual dialog among experts, practitioners, researchers, teachers, learners, artists, and others that explores the farthest edges of technology and its actual and potential impacts on issues of global significance. The yearly Symposium is intended to be very forward looking, pushing the bounds of academic discourse, and tangibly seeking ways to address the challenges of our time and our world.

The Symposium is an outgrowth of the NMC’s Emerging Technologies Initiative, which seeks to answer the question of how to keep abreast of emerging technologies that may be important to our collective work as educators. At the core of this initiative is a focus on emerging technologies and the ways they can be applied in the service of teaching, learning, research, and creative inquiry. A major goal is to stimulate systematic thinking about our society and the future of education.

This Symposium is designed as a forum for discussion of the real challenges that face our world and our society, and in particular, how emerging technologies might be applied to solve them.