Wednesday, 25 November 2009

JISC online conference 2009 - day 1

So day one was yesterday and I attended the two live sessions. The first was by Charlie Leadbeater and he talked about the role of innovation education. He said the question you ask largely determines the answer you get. He then asked the audience "where would you look to see what education and learning might become?" there was a wide range of answers from the audience. I personally said nursery school children and some others said similar "my grandchildren", "children's play" so some people think like me, which is reassuring that I'm not completely off the mark. Charlie said that we need to take larger range of questions to get a larger range of answers.

Learning takes place in many different settings, both formal and informal and he showed us a grid of innovation. There are four sections:

    • Formal sustaining - Improve - this is improving what we already have

    • Formal disruptive - Reform - developing new types of schools, focusing on personalised learning, which is learning with and by not to and from

    • Informal sustaining - Supplement - this is social and emotion conditions, the cultures and environments that influence

    • Informal disruptive - Transform - this alternatives to school, its about collaboration, connection - this tends to come from social entrepreneurs

    He asked - What are the keys to transformational innovation in learning?
    How do these areas relate to each other, which should be the driver (the largest)? Where do you invest time and money? It’s about how radical solutions from the informal sector get sustained and mainstreamed.

    The was much discussion on all aspects of how we make this happen in the conference discussion area after the presentation - some of which I haven't had chance to read yet.

    Later in the day there was a presentation from Rhona Sharpe and Helen Beetham about responding to learners. Some of the things they found which may be quite surprise given all the hype about digital natives were:

    • Students are often surprised by the amount of technology use expected of them when they arrive at F&HE colleges

    • actually have few (or no) expectations

    • are familiar with but don’t use (as in survey)

    • appreciate online resources (this crops up a lot), because strategies they have developed from school, social, leisure technology use often aren’t appropriate to f/he.

    • are guided by tutors in what they use
    They outlined a developmental model as one way of understanding how effective e-learners can be developed. They defined effective e-learners as those who are using technology in positive ways to support their learning. They asked the questions What practices do learners need in the digital age? and what are the challenges for learners? One of things that I got from this was we need to enable learners to learn across contexts and apply skills across contexts

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