6 Digital Learning Accelerants

June 2, 2012 – by Tom Vander Ark

6 Digital Learning Accelerants

A handful of smart people called yesterday in search of digital learning accelerants–an handful of initiatives that would speed the adoption of personal digital learning (print to digital, sequential to adaptive, time to learning, isolation to teams, static to mobile, short day/year to anywhere/anytime).  Here’s six:

1. Learning platform ecosystems with open and adaptive content, comprehensive learner profiles, smart recommendation engines, lots of apps, and associated services (see all Ten Elements) will make it much easier to launch customized and competency-based learning environments.

Rapid advancement will take a lot of investment and that would be facilitated by philanthropic risk abatement (e.g., contributing an early $10M to what becomes a $250M investment). Agreement on an electronic student record and Common Core micro-standards would also help. Perhaps most critical is sustained and collaborative leadership public-private partnerships.

2. State leadership on the shift to digital is key.  A couple people can flip a state.  If a chief, governor, and urban superintendent get together and commit to preparing for and leveraging online assessment in 2014-15, they could build a 26 month plan that would transform an entire state.  The full change process will last a generation, but clear and compelling leadership can make a huge difference right now.   That’s why I appreciate the leadership of Gov Jeb Bush and Gov Bob Wise, co-chairs of Digital Learning Now, a state policy framework for the future of education.

3. More high performing blended learning environments that personalize learning, extend the day/year, and leverage teaching talent with technology will result from philanthropic investment, local and network leadership, and better platforms.

4. Evidence, some conclusive, but much starting as data-driven hypotheses rapidly tested in iterative development environments.  As recently noted a program of basic neuroscience research combined with short-cycle trials would an enormous contribution to our understanding of the variables that produce persistence and performance.

5. Barrier reduction is key to unleashing the bottoms up change we’re seeing. To some extent, the shift has already occurred and our students and teachers are just waiting for us to catch up.  Now that anyone can learn anything anywhere, we to think about how to get out of the way including:

  • access to high quality options for every student (why on earth would we limit learning opportunities to those available at the school down the street?)
  • providing competency-based assessments for students in alternative pathways
  • support for teachers leading flipped/blended environments


Simon Walker (@sialker)
2/12/12 4:57 PM
reading Sheila MacNeil’s blog post on what it might mean to be a Digital University –


Mashable received exclusive early access to the U.S. Newslist of top ranking national universities and national liberal arts colleges, which was released on Tuesday. The rankings take several factors into account, including tuition, acceptance rate, retention rate, class size, SAT scores and graduation rate.

We decided to add another factor for review: social media connectedness. Below you’ll find top 10 lists of universities and liberal arts colleges alongside an analysis of their social media presences.

Mashable looked at Twitter feeds encompassing university life, official Facebook pages and YouTubechannels, not to mention the follower count for each official university/college account. Take a flip through the galleries to discover how higher education institutions stack up to the growing trends in social media. Also, you can check out U.S. News’ newly launched social tool that allows participants to discover where their Facebook friends went to college.


What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space

by Scott Belsky
Interruption-free space is sacred. Yet, in the digital era we live in, we are losing hold of the few sacred spaces that remain untouched by email, the internet, people, and other forms of distraction. Our cars now have mobile phone integration and a thousand satellite radio stations. When walking from one place to another, we have our devices streaming data from dozens of sources. Even at our bedside, we now have our iPads with heaps of digital apps and the world’s information at our fingertips.
Digital BaroqueNew Media Art and Cinematic FoldsTimothy MurrayTable of ContentsPRESS:
M/C Reviews
Digital Baroque

Pete Cashmore (@mashable)
23/06/2011 06:05
How one online influencer is transforming one of the biggest cities in the world into an innovative digital hub –

A surprising and original application of theories of new media art.In this intellectually groundbreaking work, Timothy Murray investigates a paradox embodied in the book’s title: What is the relationship between digital, in the form of new media art, and baroque, a highly developed early modern philosophy of art? Making an exquisite and unexpected connection between the old and the new, Digital Baroque analyzes the philosophical paradigms that inform contemporary screen arts.Examining a wide range of art forms, Murray reflects on the rhetorical, emotive, and social forces inherent in the screen arts’ dialogue with early modern concepts. Among the works discussed are digitally oriented films by Peter Greenaway, Jean-Luc Godard, and Chris Marker; video installations by Thierry Kuntzel, Keith Piper, and Renate Ferro; and interactive media works by Toni Dove, David Rokeby, and Jill Scott. Sophisticated readings reveal the electronic psychosocial webs and digital representations that link text, film, and computer.Murray puts forth an innovative Deleuzian psychophilosophical approach—one that argues that understanding new media art requires a fundamental conceptual shift from linear visual projection to nonlinear temporal folds intrinsic to the digital form.

“In the flood of recent publications on electronic and digital art, nothing can compare to Digital Baroque—a work of tremendous originality, conceived and written with great clarity, commitment, and wit.”
—D. N. Rodowick, author of The Virtual Life of Film

“Any reader interested in new media art and a state of the art overview of philosophical thinking on the subject will find Digital Baroque a sure guide to what to see and what to read in today’s screen art.”
Leonardo Reviews

“The book provides a new slant on Deleuze’s film theory, refracted through his concept of the Baroque, and offers some valuable suggestions on how to take the concept of a ‘time image’ beyond the medium of traditional cinema. “

Timothy Murray
is director of the Society for the Humanities, curator of the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, and professor of comparative literature at Cornell University. He is the coeditor of Repossessions: Psychoanalysis and the Phantasms of Early Modern Culture (Minnesota, 1998).

320 pages | 22 b&w photos | 6 x 9 | 2008
Electronic Mediations Series, volume 26



Introduction: Baroque Folds and Digital Incompossibilities

I. From Video Black to Digital Baroque
1. Digital Baroque: Performative Passage from Hatoum to Viola
2. Et in Arcadia Video: Poussin’ the Image of Culture with Thierry Kuntzel and Louis Marin

II. Digital Deleuze: Baroque Folds of Shakespearean Passage
3. The Crisis of Cinema in the Age of New World-Memory: The Baroque Legacy of Jean-Luc Godard
4. You Are How You Read: Baroque Chao-Errancy in Greenaway and Deleuze

III. Present Past: Digitality, Psychoanalysis, and the Memory of Cinema
5. Digitality and the Memory of Cinema: Bearing the Losses of the Digital Code
6. Wounds of Repetition in the Age of the Digital: Chris Marker’s Cinematic Ghosts
7. Philosophical Toys and Kaleidoscopes of the Unfamiliar: The Haunting Voices of Toni Dove and Zoe Beloff
8. Digital Incompossibility: Cruising the Aesthetic Haze of New Media

IV. Scanning the Future
9. Psychic Scansion: The Marker of the Digital In-Between
10. Time @ Cinema’s Future: New Media Art and the Thought of Temporality

Publication History

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