Audrey Watters | Keynote & Lunch
March 18, 2016 | 11:45am – 1:30pm | Baker Athletic Club, Red Ventures B102 (Space is limited. RSVP to Kristen Eshleman)
Comparisons between the music industry and universities are fairly commonplace (and not always particularly helpful), but this keynote’s going to go there anyway in the hopes of telling a different tale about what the future of technology might hold.
The Internet, so one story goes, will be higher education’s “Napster moment,” hastening the disruption of the institution.
But “indie ed-tech” posits a different narrative about what technology can offer teaching and learning. It’s a counter-narrative of sorts that draws on indie music and the DIY (do-it-yourself) ethos of punk rock: that is, rather than destroying music, the Internet has allowed it to flourish in new ways. Thanks to new technologies, barriers to entry have been lowered so that more people can participate in the making, recording, and distributing of music, not to mention writing about music and being a part of various online music-related communities.
That’s the narrative and the model that indie ed-tech has promoted through initiatives like “Domain of One’s Own”: giving students and faculty the tools — real-world tools — to participate in the making and distributing of their work and to be part of online communities of scholars, scientists, citizens, and artists.
This keynote will explore some of the history of music technology in order to talk about the potential for self-expression, with a critical eye to how analytics and algorithms have been used by major record labels to shape the sounds we hear and music we experience. How might the latter, as increasingly sold to schools by major education technology companies, shape the scholarship we see and learning we experience?