Mimi Ito is all of five minutes into her talk, and already ripping to shreds the “polarized public debate” about technology. She points out that the promise of new technologies, and the fear of them, are attitudes to which people choose to affiliate. The problem is that each attitude comes at the expense of the other, when both are actually true.
What new technologies do is challenge our existing values – for example, around what learning should feel like and how it should be done. She’s setting up tensions between individual and collaborative learning; originality and thoughtful appropriation; stocks and flows of knowledge; and assessment and reputation. There are tradeoffs to any point on each of those spectra. We just have to learn to be thoughtful instead of knee-jerk about how we make those decisions.
Also, there is something really delightful about sitting in a room full of Very Serious Academics watching the Numa Numa video.