D2L Fusion 2013: keynotes, reflections, and oddments

D2L Fusion Speaker on Main Stage

In a final post on Fusion 2013 these are some of the other things that have stuck in my mind (Disclaimers: not comprehensive, personal resonances, in places may be totally disconnected from intended purpose).

From the keynotes:

  • Michael Horn – ~’We don’t yet know if MOOCs are a disruptive innovation. It’s too soon to tell [if they will last]’
  • Karen Cator – ~’the veterans’ response to access to copies of their medical data was overwhelming … and led to the much wider MyData initiative’
  • Alec Couros – how do I help support this in formal edu? Given the potential of open that you (and I) would advocate for what does it say that a some of the great ed tech bloggers have closed commenting because of the vitriol? [for ref watch his keynote if you can – & well deserved the remarkable standing ovation ]

Quotes – both from John Baker’s opening remarks.

  • “Potential has a shelf life” Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye (via Goodreads)
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead (via Goodreads)


  • There’s an interesting interplay between marked efforts to increase integration (Valence, LTI, Solution store) and ongoing increases the range and functionality of D2L’s product line. Thankfully D2L seems to be committed to both.
  • The choice of keynotes was fascinating and perhaps marks a self-confidence in engagement with its user base- if we take them as roughly addressing: disruption, big data and educational standards, social and informal – these are areas in which D2L is engaging but also areas (certainly disruption and informal, maybe data) which to some degree challenge their business model and product.
  • Kari Frisch’s session raised an interesting discussion of disciplinary perspectives on the role of personality and experience in the classroom. OTOH – there is a powerful force in developing engagement with a topic that a personal example allows (Frisch – ‘creating one degree of separation’) OTOH some disciplines strongly resist the personal (history was the example given). I’m not sure what I think about this – one distinction we may have flattened or missed was the separation of personal connection as an initial frame for a topic in distinction from the personal connection influencing that topic [I’ll note there might be a quite the historiographical discussion on that notion as well]).
  • Open and the long tail – Perhaps because a lot of what I’m doing these days is quite specific and local I’ve been a little hesitant (or busy & unclear of rights?) to post a some of the stuff I’ve been working on to Slideshare or my blog. Alec Couros’ keynote was a reminder that a lot of the value of open lurks in the long tail. Time to update my content.
  • I’ve said before that ‘A Domain of One’s Own’ captures something of my ideal about how one would create and manage an ePortfolio and digital identity. It’s not an approach that I think will work in my context at this time (and to be honest one which I’m still thinking through for myself). I’m hoping, though, that our ePortfolio initiatives and with the launch of MyDesire2Learn (and our local investigation of export options) we can provide a students with some steps in the same direction – helping them create, curate, and reflect on education and online identity.

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