Thursday, October 14, 2010

Visionaries in our midst

Quick! Name three! How about Clay Shirky, David Lankes, and Adrian Sannier. If you haven't heard of Dr. Adrian Sannier you're missing out. Adrian is Vice-President of Product Marketing at Pearson eCollege, and former University Technology Officer at Arizona State. I was only introduced to him recently at the Association for Consortium Leadership Annual Meeting where he was the opening speaker. His very passionate presentation was entitled "Looking Ahead in Higher Education." Sounds very, ummmm, generic. A more apt title might have been "Why our educational system is failing our kids and how we need to change NOW!" It was a very insightful look at the absolute primacy of technology and how efforts to deny that reality will destroy democracy as we know it! Well, maybe just a skosh less vehemence but this was the general gist. Whether we agreed with his analysis or not, he made us all sit up and take note. He was provocative and we all talked about his ideas for the rest of the conference.

Afterward I wanted to find out more about him so I googled him and found some great videos from his time at ASU that I'm going to recommend to you. Here's a quote from one of them to give you the flavor of both his ideas and his humor. In one section Adrian discloses that one of his favorite places to seek solitude is in the stacks, since they're air conditioned and deserted. According to Sannier, "As a delivery mechanism for information, bookshelves have seen their day." Keep in mind that these videos are from 2006. Here are links to 3 videos of Sannier talking to the library staff, aptly named Adrian Sannier Talks to the Library Part 1Adrian Sannier Talks to the Library Part 2, and Adrian Sannier Talks to the Library Part 3.  Enjoy!

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