ETS Talk(back), Part 1

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I am a regular listener of ETS talk, a great podcast here at PSU. The most recent episode (issue?) was a live broadcast from Educause Learning Initative in Tampa, FL and starred Cole Camplese, Allan Gyorke, and Brad Kozlick. Listening to them talk about their experience there got me thinking about a couple things, but I am going to break them up into separate posts.

Part 1: Intellectual Infrastructure

Cole was talking about one of the frustrations he had with the post-presentation questions at ELI. They were typically about privacy and copyright and not the issues or the innovation. This got me thinking about the exceptional infrastructure we have in place at PSU to support digital expression (you can see details about this in Cole's blog). What it made me think of what that having great infrastructure really must develop along multiple dimensions. The infrastructure that Cole needed to address the questions from ELI hecklers is an intellectual one. What does that mean? Well, imagine for example that ETS formed hot teams not just to investigate emerging technology, but also to investigate emerging intellectual issues around teaching and learning with technology. In this way you could have white paper that address copyright, privacy, student identity, and other intellectual issues central to the technology infrastructure. The white paper would be targeted at faculty and others without the background to understand the details of this, but need to be familiar with the issues. The result would not just provide an answer for hecklers with nothing to do buy nay say (the response becomes - "we have an entire intellectual infrastructure at PSU to address all these issues (give URL), so we don't want to spend valuable time here addressing those kinds of questions). Much more importantly it provides well-grounded, thoughtful support for innovation in teaching and learning spaces. Just as with the technology dimension of the platform for digital expression, the intellectual dimension frees people to focus on the issues they care about and innovate in their own space. 

Next up: Dimension three of the platform - pedagogical infrastructure for innovation (the one I really care about).

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