These are my notes from the Thursday, October 30th EDUCUASE 2008 keynote session, “The Facts of Life in the High-Tech Age,” presented by Moira Gunn, Host of Tech Nation and BioTech Nation, National Public Radio.

Unfortunately, this presentation wasn’t so hot. I am guessing that Moria was just off her game this morning. She spent most of her time plodding through a very loose history of the Internet, personal computing, technology in higher education, the Net Generation, and a host of topics for which most members of the audience probably had a much greater level of knowledge and understanding. The facts of life were hard to discern and fell a little flat. As near as I could tell, they included:

  • The people who create technology cannot predict how the technology will be used
  • You can’t control the use of technology or information

She did remind us all at the end of the talk that the best way to avoid getting seasick is to focus your gaze on a fixed point and let the boat move around you. That’s nice. I would add that you also want to make sure you can swim and you know the location of the life raft.

During the talk, I generated my Top 10 Facts of Life at EDUCAUSE 2008:

    1. The person sitting next to you has better gadgets.
    2. Your laptop battery is at 2%.
    3. Your next session is at the other end of the conference center.
    4. You just got an email message inquiring when you will arrive at a meeting you forgot to cancel.
    5. You haven’t eaten a vegetable in three days.
    6. You are so going to be in the doghouse when your spouse sees the credit card statement.
    7. You are not going to win the Wii raffle.
    8. You will hear the word “cloud” at least 1000 times.
    9. Where is the flipping coffee? I didn’t have this problem in Seattle last year!
    10. They are never going to let you do that, so you might as well stop thinking about it.