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C Varenhorst

NMC Summer Conference 2010

June 22, 2010

The NMC 2010 Summer Conference took place in early June in Anaheim California. Drawing a crowd of over 200 educators, artists, and technologists, the conference spanned 4 days of presentations, celebrations, forums, and live dancing at the House of Blues.


The New Media Consortium, which sponsored the conference, is devoted to "sparking Innovation and creativity", and its mission is to explore new media and new media techniques. To highlight this, the focus of the NMC summer conference was to present emerging projects which demonstrated new and engaging ways to use technology in creativity and learning.

A riveting keynote by cultural anthropologist Mimi Ito focused on ways to look beyond mashups to their underlying meanings and emotions. Ito also tackled the classic question of whether technology is essentially a bane or a benefit for teaching learning, and she concluded that it is both. Like any tool, the critical component depends on how it is employed.

Highlights of the evening's poster session were the work of:

  • Marlene Brooks bringing the Mi'kmaq first nation story to Second Life.
  • Lisa Spiro of Rice University compiling a digital resource for research (DiRT)
  • Caroline Copestake from OUC whose arresting poster outlined ways to engage with faculty without 'intrusion or burdening'.

The Five MInutes of Fame was a lively conference favorite. Molly Ruggles of OEIT participated in the event, giving a brief overview of a digital timeline for the Russian Revolution, and Seiji Ikeda demonstrated a touchless, gesture-based system that responds to hand and body movements.

The conference ended with a keynote presentation by John Seely Brown, self-labeled 'chief of confusion' and author of  "The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things In Motion". Seely Brown exhorted attendees to stay curious in order to stay in the game and up-to-speed. 

Office of Educational Innovation and Technology
Building NE48-308, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
Phone: (617) 252-1981; Fax: (617) 452-4044