Postdigital – putting language to what we know

I’ve just come back from an amazing couple of days with 52group over in the UK. We got together to look back at some of the work we’ve been doing for the last couple of years and to look for new projects to stretch some of our conclusions a little further.

Our first step was to take a look at what we’d learned and make sure we shared a common perspective on our work. Many of us have just come out of MUVE research and, in a sense, found the same community stuff that we’ve found elsewhere.

Hours passed and we dug in deeper and deeper and finally found that the key point of concurrence for our thinking was that we want to plan for the future of education and not get mired in the petty pendantries that we fall into debating one platform over another, or one approach over another. We needed some language to elucidate this.

And so… the postdigital. You can check out the early draft of our thinking over at our published google doc.

I’ve been sending the link around to folks in the hopes of getting some feedback, and so far we’ve gotten everything from “yeah. i read it.”(my personal favourite) to “i don’t think ur saying anything” and “it’s beautiful” and “this is exactly what i’ve been trying to say”. It’s not surprising I suppose, as our intent was to put language to something that we have seen happen and expect to see continue… not create something new out of whole cloth. We’ll be incorporating the feedback into the second draft, moving towards something that better reflects our intent.

When i do look out to the future (i’ve been ask that question alot “where do you see education in 5-10 years) i think we need to drop our lens from today and think about change as incorporated into the society. Many people seem to believe that the kids coming up now are going to be ‘plugged in’ or ‘digital somethings’… in truth, they will probably take these things for granted and not consider themselves any such thing… no more than i considered myself part of any TV generation. I just happen to share any number of ‘universal narratives’ with the people around me. EVERYONE knew the characters of every show. We shared a common language, a reified culture, based on TV characters. The next generation will probably be less centralized, and, probably, more interesting to talk to 🙂

But what we see as ‘digital’ now, will to them be retronymed. The way that ‘mail’ is quickly becoming ‘default email’ an ‘snail mail’ is starting to require a prefix. If we start now thinking about how to prepare them for a digital age, we’ll be preparing them for now… not for ten years from now.

Like i said, we’re not claiming that we’ve invented some brand new idea… but rather it’s an attempt at giving language to what we seemed to all be saying so that when we turn around and try and explain it to other people… we know we’re saying the same thing.

The feedback so far has been all over the map. Very interested to hear what you guys think.