13 July 2013

So I went to NetHui2013

I spent two and 1/2 days in Wellington at NetHui this week, missing the first part of Monday. I want to understand what internet issues are. I am an internet user. I was surrounding with people who "get the internet" and "make the internet". As someone tweeted (wished I captured!) "if the building was to collapse it would set back New Zealand for years to come!"

InternetNZ organises NetHui. It has been a great opportunity to understand better the role and work of InternetNZ, it above all feels right and it is well beyond worth my humble membership!  Jordan Carter's (Internet NZ Chief Executive) Scene Setting Comments for NetHui is a great intro.

My few lines won't make the event justice:
Bill Bennett's Ten Things we learned from NetHui  is a sounder analysis!

NetHui brought together all sorts of people from all walks of kiwi life to talk about the internet and how it shapes what they do or rather how they shape it? Who knows... 

If you wanted to read up and see the wealth of conversations that took place, head over to Conversation, where all the collaborative note taking is compiled. This has got to be one great thing about the internet, the fact that I have spent the last hour "rewinding" through NetHui! I have learnt soooo much at a frantic pace. And I need to revisit. And the most relevant will rise to the surface faster while much will  have given me reasons and impetus to explore further.
There were a few highly clued up edu-peeps, and a few teachers talking  Open Internet Networked Learning and Making BYOD work. Wished I had some students to introduce to the youth forum too!

The beauty of these three days is that I spent them out of my depth!
> I am listening to people from "another" world, whose interest in and understanding of the internet reach far beyond mine at first glance and whose activity and/or raison d ĂȘtre have been also deeply turned upside down by the internet  (security, journalism, music, health, business, role of the state, open data...)
> I venture a few comments and contributions here and there as the format of each session, with a mic being passed around, manages to invite me to take a bit of a chance: many venture comments, that is what makes the conversation progress...
> I come to realise as the days progress that many an Internet issue actually deeply concerns me: public interest vs national security, copyright, open source, access for all (Rural, disabilities etc), privacy, digital literacies, identity...

What I take home from NetHui is that the internet is about people, faith in people: relationships, partnerships, high trust, it is also about building together, including,  it is about voice, it is about choice, it is about being pro active, being free to act, to self regulate, organise... All of those "things" I can see baking in every single child in an NZ school and that in fact apply to all!

Quinn Norton
(who has covered extensively Hacktivism and the Occupy movement) gave a breathtaking (literally thanks to the pace of her "tweet" like statements) keynote (I hope the recording becomes available soon and I will edit here with it). She speaks about liminality,  refers to the internet as the Network and its disorganised, organic nature,  that is throwing doubt to established ways, talks about moving from democracy to do a cracy. 
The one concept I related to straight away in her keynote was her mention of Agency:

Agency is the key word that totally underpins all of my thoughts and interest and practice in eportfolio. That is another story, a personal and professional journey, but it is absolutely enabled through experiencing for myself the transformative powers of the Internet.


  1. I totally agree about the importance of agency. I think I'm in the business of encouraging students to become the agents of their learning, probably because agency is so important to me. I'd certainly like to be more of an agent for change but I think there are certain critical factors, such as the culture of the establishment, generated from the top, which determine to what extent this is possible (unless one is extraorinarily charismatic and persuasive). I look forward to having a browse through these links. It's really interesting to read your response to Nethui and being confronted with worlds somewhat removed from the educational one.
    Nice to be back in Hammy again. Now to begin my holiday work on transcription of an interview with Brian Annan in Paris (for Francois and Thierry) Very well timed!

  2. Just had a look at the presentation (which was rejected, apparently) on Education 3.0 and found it quite a neat explanation of the evolution which is struggling to make headway in the mainstream educational environment.
    "Teachers did not become teachers to teach to the test, to develop practice tests or worksheets, to work with pre-scripted curriculum to meet standards. Teachers became teachers to teach students, first and foremost. The learner needs to be central to all teaching endeavors."

  3. Where is this presentation? Unless I m already started with the head fuzziness of the jetlag (getting a little closer to France as I write :-))
    it sounds like interesting an interesting transcription you are about to start. I m often left wandering about ERO role in the big scheme of transformation... You ll have to explain to me sometime it is not exactly jumping to me.
    I am enjoying meeting and discovering folks from other worlds. I m starting to see quite a lot of commonalities but also of assumptions from all that benefit from being discussed. I am at the early stages of trying to map a common vocabulary around employability based on skills competences and attributes. With eportfolio as the lifelong vehicle for this... a few weeks in France will help clarify thoughts further. Enjoy a great break also!


Let's go Back to the Drawing Board!