Category: dlrn15

kristen eshleman

#dLRN15: Why Should You Trust Us?


Well, that’s a wrap. The first (and hopefully not last) dLRN conference is officially in the books. The reflections are rolling in on Twitter and blogs, and they are largely positive from the participant perspective. That makes me happy and perhaps a bit relieved. But as a co-organizer, I am conflicted when I think about what might have been.

As a community, we share a social justice vision of higher ed. I am concerned about the future of higher education and believe research can be a lever for positive change. I have high hopes for dLRN generally. But by the middle of day one, we weren’t talking deeply about research. We were expressing opinions and bonding around serious concerns that are worthy of attention, like the problem of casual labor, or the needs of non-traditional students, or the lack of learning science behind edtech. We weren’t building toward solutions.
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This blessed plot, this earth, this realm this….

…Higher Education.

Why the Shakespeare reference in my title? England is on my mind lately thanks to Kate Bowles’ recent beautiful post on the mystery of Stonehenge and it’s analogy to the monolithic presence of institutions of higher education. I will come back to Kate’s thoughts and explain where I see intersections with education research, but for some framing of my own thoughts ahead of dLRN2015, here is the entire passage of my borrowed title, from Richard II:

“This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm this England….”

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