In an era of epoch-making geopolitical change, the word “disruption” has acquired the same positive connotations normally associated with creativity and innovation. Digital disruption in particular is seen as a driver of change, led by swashbuckling entrepreneurism, the great white hope of the knowledge economy. It is insufficient for an idea to be merely innovative, to have impact it must also be destructive. That change is double-edged is nothing new; Hindu goddess of time and change, Kali, after all, is both terrible and benevolent, creator and destroyer, as she dances on the prostrate Shiva.
In economic circles, disruptive business models are those which reach a tipping point after which there can be no return to older ways. Widely accessible digital social media are often a powerful lever for the tipping.
Hydra-like, their underlying algorithms sprout intelligent ramifications from our interactions with them, to the extent that much human activity is now mediated by them.
In Higher Education, balances tend to tip less frequently and digital disruption may be viewed less benevolently, unless its pedagogic or practical value is evident. This is entirely appropriate. Any form of technology in education should be evaluated for its benefit to learning and, accordingly, either appropriated creatively, or left well alone. We should be sceptical of checkbox recipes, lest they stifle innovation.
Digital Disruptions takes an irreverent, sometimes serious look at digital innovation and its disruptive sibling. We shun stasis, looking forwards and backwards in time, Janus-like. We aspire to stimulate creativity, and make no apology for being speculative and fanciful; we offer a serendipitous imagining of potentiality, in which education is forever in the making, never finished. Much like home improvement projects, about which, like the contents of this blog, it’s best to be philosophical, ma non troppo.
The views expressed here are those of the authors, not necessarily of the institutions with which they are affiliated.