What the WEB? by Alan Levine (Keynote Speaker)

by Tuyet Hayes (Guest Blogger)

Tuesday’s keynote presentation was delivered by Alan Levine, pedagogical technologist and architect of open and connected learning.  In recognition of TCC celebrating its 20th anniversary, Levine delivered his keynote as if it was 1996, the first year of TCC’s online conference.  This unique platform allowed Levine to provide a forward-thinking retrospective on the state of technology, especially the “The Web”, in 1996 as well as imagining the possibilities of what it might have in store in the “future” twenty years.  Levine’s careful preparation for the presentation included period pieces of technology including a walkman, Yahoo! t-shirt, and old flip-style cell phone.  These theatrics led to a more nuanced discussion of how the internet has evolved in terms of wikis, HTML, and  website creation and management.  He also introduced the audience to FedWiki and Surge.  On his CogDogBlog, you can find a link to Levine’s presentation as well as a blog entry detailing his extensive research and preparation for this keynote address.

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In 1996 I was a junior in high school.  I wouldn’t get my first email address or cell phone until the next year when I entered college.  Straddling the line between digital native and digital immigrant, I had plenty of moments during the presentation of “oh yeah, I remember that,” paired with a few “huh?”.  I especially had  a hard time fathoming how a technology conference could be delivered by email.  Email?  Really?  It seems the folks who planned and attended the TCC that year were quite the visionaries in imagining the possible ways technology could allow people to connect and share knowledge.

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