UoL Library Blog

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Learning Futures 2

Posted by selinalock on 3 February, 2009

So, a little delayed but here’s the rest of my Learning Futures Festival write-up:

Keynote 2: Ralp Schroeder (Oxford Internet Institute)

Focused on virtual environments – which he defined as immersive environments that give a sense of being in another place than you are physically in & have visual & spatial aspects.

Argued there are 2 major versions of the technology that are likely to develop further.

1. Video-capture – e.g. video conferencing, talking heads.

2. Computer generated (CAVE technology), which can be programmed to do all sorts of things.

I’m afraid he lost me a bit after this, so I’m not sure how he saw the technology being used in education.

Workshop: Using narrative structure in projects

The most fun I had on the day, as how can I resist playing around with cartoon strips!? This workshop looked at how thinking about narrative structures (e.g. your hero, villain, story arc) can be used as another project management tool. We took a classical fairytale, in our case Red Riding Hood, and introduced novel learning technologies to see what impact they had on the narrative. We gave Red Riding Hood a mobile phone so she could warn Granny about the Big Bad Wolf, granny got the Wood Cutter to build a “hole in the wall” computer & the wolves used this to learn how to clone food so that they didn’t need to attack people!

Intervention panels

I’m afraid the title intervention panel had me envisioning us all reassuring one another that we weren’t addicted to web2.0 or something. It was actually more like a round table and general discussion. Points I picked up during the day were:

  • Will web2.0 make surface learning worse?
  • critical/evaluative skills of learners do not seem to be improving
  • Has the fundamental nature of learning changed?
  • Need pedagogical push & intelligent technological insights to provide best education e.g. use ebook readers flexibly, use virtual environments to improve on reality.
  • Change form students having to search our specialist information to having to trawl through huge tracts of information that were not available in the past.
  • Should be prepared to admit when we don’t know something – learn alongside our learners!
  • Change in locus – from academics telling/teaching to new generation of learners that want to share what they know. Need a more collaborative learning process?
  • New learners are multimodal & multimedia – live in a more immediate environment.
  • HE systems are very inflexible compared to the outside world.
  • We are all learners & we all have something to offer.
  • In HE we still need to challenge students in how they learn as well as what they learn.

One Response to “Learning Futures 2”

  1. “HE Systems are very inflexable” Oh yes, always worried we’re going to IBM ourselves as a sector one of these days and watch as Wikiversity takes over…

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