A wish list for ICT policy

One of the key findings from our Learner Experience Project (LXP), diagnosis which looked at how students were using technologies was that there was a glaring mismatch between the technological infrastructures institutions were providing and the personal tools students were actually using. The findings showed that students were using a variety of different tools, cialis appropriately these for their own needs. Whilst most institutions were concentrating on provision of basic tools and an institutional VLE, students are connected into social networks and using a variety of freely available communication tools (Skype, Wordpress, MSN chat, the list is endless). If the freely available tool is better than the institutional support one, why should student use the latter? Or put another way, how likely is it that the students will use the institutional version? Which raises a bigger question, what tools should institutions be providing as standard and to what degree should they be taking account of (and allowing) students’ own personal tools? I think this is a huge and fundamental issue for institutions and I don’t think we have really woken up to the significance of this mismatch or the implications if we don’t attempt to address it. Worryingly I suspect most ICT-related policy documents don’t even touch upon this.

Mike Caulfield puts forward an approach, which offers some hope. Struggling with his own institutional policy, he started to think laterally and came up with a wish list for driving ICT policy, namely that ICT policy should be about:

  • using technology to help students and faculty to change the world,
  • developing graduate students who think creatively about technology and loose processes,
  • starting to bring institutions (and our learning) into the Networked Age.
  • It made me think ‘what would my wish list be?’ and ‘how could we use something like this to drive policy, what would it look like in practice?’

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