My keynote presentation from last week’s RSC eFair.
The world is changing.
Technologies are changing.
Learning is changing.
Our learners are changing. How they learn, where they learn and with whom they learn, all are changing.
Web 2.0 technologies allow learners to remove the social, geographical and physical barriers to communicate and learn with others.
Mobile technologies allow learners to be more mobile and be able to access learning and learning communities in ways which have never been possible before.
Both allow for an enhanced and enriched learning experience.
James Clay has extensive experience of mobile learning and has a vision that goes beyond mobile technologies and focuses on the mobility of the learner, blurring the demarcation between formal and informal learning. His current vision for education encompasses the use of Web 2.0 technologies embedded into an institutional VLE which can be accessed through mobile technologies. Allowing learners a focal point for their studying, whilst allowing the depth and breadth of Web 2.0 to bring a personalised learning experience to students at a time and space to suit them.
For the future, James hopes that institutions and others will allow for a flexible, personalised, accessible learning experience for all.
Today I delivered the keynote at the JISC RSC Eastern eFair at Hertford Regional College.
Though the presentation went down well, lots of positive feedback I did have a few technical hitches. Now I made the most of them and used it as an opportunity to talk about the issues of practitioners lacking confidence in the technology and not wanting to use it in case it went wrong. The point I made was that tradition, technologies sometimes fail us, but as professionals we compensate and change what we were going to do. For example if your marker pen runs out of ink on a traditional whiteboard, doesn’t usually stop someone from ever using one again. Likewise if someone has used a permanent marker on the whiteboard, does this stop you ever using one, because the one day you come across a whiteboard where this has happened will ruin your lesson. Practitioners sometimes decide they won’t use the VLE as sometimes it doesn’t work! Would they say the same about a physical learning environment ie a classroom? Sometimes they don’t work, like when it snows for example. So yes sometimes it does go wrong and as a professional you need to either fix it, or get someone else to fix it, or change quickly what you were going to do.
So what went wrong?
Firstly, though I was assured that once I had logged into the wireless network that it wouldn’t time out. It did. Took a minute or so before I could start.
The other issues was about two thirds of the way through the presentation Keynote on my Mac froze! I couldn’t move to the next slide. Without checking fully I think what happened was one of two things. Either the script auto-posting to Twitter was not working properly. Or Powerpoint which was also running on my Mac decided to “hog” all the resources and stop Keynote from working properly. Whatever it was it did mean that I couldn’t move my slide forward for a few minutes.
In the end the pause worked fine as we could discuss technical problems and also showed that tech problems happen to all of us.
eBooks and eBook Readers bring new challenges and new opportunities for learning technologists. Sony has the eReader, Amazon the Kindle and now Apple has the iPad. Publishers are now offering more titles as eBooks. There is a huge growth and interest in this new medium.
Some learners prefer physical books and the feel of paper, but do eBooks have the potential to offer more to the reader? Are eBooks a new way for learners to access information and learning? Are they just a digital version of print, ignoring the affordances of new technologies?
How can we use eBooks and eBook Readers? How do we promote their use with learners?