Archive for February, 2008
Andy Powell picks up on the debate about blogging and academic discourse. Very relevant at the moment with respect to the research course we are running (H809) where the students are using blogs to reflect on readings and discuss things! I like his reordering of my suggestion for the role of blogging into a simple ABC: A-academic paper, B-blogging, C-conferences!! Soooo challenge for you… what about academic discourse D-Z????
Inside Out: What do current Web trends tell us about the future of ICT provision for learners and researchers?
suggests that it promises to be an interesting day. With the increasing impact of Web 2.0 technologies, the findings which are emerging from international research looking at the learner experiece, let alone the current raging ‘debate’ (argument who said argument??) about PLEs, VLEs, loosely coupled systems, etc…. this should generate some great discussion both on the day and hopefully afterwards in the blogosphere!
Following on from my last couple of blogs, summarising some of the discussions at the JISC learner experience meeting I’ve just been at, Derek’s post has prompted me to also promote the fact that there is a special interest group building on both the JISC learner experience stuff and the HE Academy projects with an interest in this area. The meeting is next Thursday and registration is still open. It should be a really interesting meeting and the setting up of a special interest group on this area is very timely because there is such alot of interest in the findings from these projects at the moment and the implications for institutions.
Today’s meeting of the Learner Experience project consisted of a “Panel discussion”. We had one half of each team on a panel – in classic Question Time mode – and half of us planted in the audience – with very tricky questions from different stakeholder perspectives. A really interesting approach which generated some great discussion and provided useful practice for all of us involved in the projects for addressing these types of questions in our own context. So my question was as a practitioner – ‘I’ve heard a lot of stuff about what learners do with technology, but what do the learners say works? But I never got to ask it!! Other questions include a Pro VC thinking about the relevance of the outcomes of the projects for their learning and teaching strategy. Another question was on work-based learning – how will the findings from the projects support distributed learning? An institutional IT manager wanted clarity about the balance of institutionally supported technologies vs. freely available or loosely committed systems?!! How are the findings of the projects going to be integrated into other institutions and via national bodies such as BECTA, the HE Academy, JISC, etc?Discussion included debates on the link to institutional policy, samples of the findings from across the projects and what that meant for the particular question being posed, student retention, effective e-learners and their strategies for engaging with technologies, information literacies and key skills agenda, integration of best practice, mismatch between the change in use of technologies and institutional decision making process and projection, relationship to the design and use of institutional spaces, attitudes of staff to the shifts in technologies and their implications for practice. A particularly nice touch is that the exercise included some students as well and their feedback and insights were particularly useful.
I’ve had some interesting replies to my question ‘What’s the point of conferences?’. ‘Beer’ was Martin’s suggestion - thanks for that Martin ;-) Sarah came up with a nice summary which I think will resonate with alot of people!
For me, it is about networking - finding people who can help me or I can help - opportunities for collaboration or ‘just’ chances to make new professional friendships. I’m afraid, it’s also an opportunity for self-promotion and to put something on my CV - increasing my research outputs. Finally, its a legitimate reason for getting a few days to myself away from my family!!
It will be interesting to see what effect - if any! - the conference blog we’ve set up for Edmedia has. Ps. I hope my family don’t read this post, I could be in *big* trouble….