#FOTE10 – ULCC October 1st 2010

Full house, not surprising considering the scramble for tickets. Bits & pieces follow.

First off, Microsoft – the world of work in 10 years time. Video – interesting to see Microsoft presenting a pervasive iPad-style UI. In-flight facilities – but will we be flying? (Interesting point: major concerns about security/everybody knowing your business – but everybody not knowing your business is a fairly recent development). ‘Creating & organising content is as simple as having a conversation’ – would be nice. Key factor seems to be location-based services. So, how much does this always on/always connected world represent the future world of work – for most people, or the privileged minority? Very technology-based – sadly hardly surprising – not much about how we’re going to help people participate in this brave new world…

Jeremy Speller/UCL/the Mobile University – Last Year’s Model? School’s doing so much more than HE. Quoted Brian Kelly – in economic climate, need for framework for assessing which new technologies HE should go for. Job for JISC? eg power outlets in learning areas, when devices work for longer, no longer needed, short-sighted development…Mobility described as a paradigm shift – but books & handouts are mobile. Maybe the paradigm shift isn’t mobility but connectivity. Books don’t connect you to everyone else – not in realtime anyway; the words/ideas may connect, sometimes, but not the ‘device’.

Hugh Griffiths/oMbiel/campusM. Good that references services/architecture/network, not just the device. Interesting stuff, but guess we’ve had a lot of exposure already, being an oMbiel customer (sorry Hugh!) Should focus on Architecting for change & reuse – again, not the device. Very interested in announcement on Moodle content presented in campusM – in partnership with ULCC, working with MMU.

Ollie Bray/Computer Games in Education. Looks just brilliant. Primary school children learning Japanese through playing Sonic related to Winter Olympics (I think) – then produced podcast for Ollie to teach him. HE application? – one for the pedagogy guys.

James Alliban/Augmented Reality in Education. As above. Shame none of our academics are here (at least, not that I know of…) – as far as learning goes, I’m not the audience for this!

Miles Metcalf/Geolocation. Opening statement – if you want to participate in the modern world, you have to make private public (?) You don’t need to buy technology to build learning infrastructure. Students will use own devices. Really good stuff. Lack of critical thinking about technology’s ability to find you & know what you’re doing – if you allow it, do you become the product for sale – to advertisers? First nicely challenging session of the day.

Matt Lingard/We have the technology, we have the capability, all we need is love. How do we work with teachers to help them be successful with this stuff. Glover’s Dilemma – focus on the leading edge or the trailing edge? How much time do you spend on innovators/innovations vs the mainstream? There are lots of factors that will determine whether technology is successful in education or not – but I have to ask, what does success look like? Technology is there whether you like it or not.

Joe Dale/This time it’s personal. Must avoid haves & have-nots – & teachers who don’t use technology are doing a disservice to the pupils.

So, overall an interesting day – strangely unchallenged by the elephant in the room, although it did trumpet a couple of times – & I did spend the morning coffee break being interviewed by a journalist from Information Age about the implications of budget cuts for University ICT services.

A lot of good stuff on technology in teaching/learning that I haven’t really commented on – but then the teachers should have been there, maybe encourage them next time.

& I’ll end with an imperfect quote from Philip Butler, in his session on Personalisation – Meeting the Challenges of Learning in the 21st Century, which I think just about summed up where we are: how do we identify the requirements of the 21st century learner? & how do we transform the organisation to meet them? Should keep us going for now…

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