Digitised Newspapers: Learning from the Past
Aly Conteh (Day One: Thursday 7 January)
The British Library is one of the great research libraries of the world, holding over 150 million items in all the common languages and formats of the world. The advent of the Internet and the ability to digitise large quantities of text and images and make them available over the Web has transformed ways of working in research and learning. For almost two decades, the British Library has undertaken a number of focused digitisation initiatives. The recent digitisation of 4 million pages of British newspapers has provided users with the ability to search across different newspaper titles providing access to a wide range of research and learning topics. This presentation will describe the approach taken to build the resource and the impact the resource has had in higher education.
“Any Useful Statement About The Future Should At First Appear Ridiculous”: Discuss
Philip Candy (Day Two: Friday 8 January)
Did the Future Arrive Without Us Noticing? Recognising the Difference that New Technologies are Already Making to How Young People Learn
Chris Davies (Day Three: Saturday 9 January)
Ever since the inflated claims about how technology can transform learning during the 1980s, education professionals have been scanning the horizon for the first signs of the future to arrive, and complaining about how long the wait has been. This paper will argue that the big transformation has already happened, but in the form simply of very many small and relatively unremarkable changes that are rapidly becoming embedded in the lives and learning of young people. The paper will discuss these issues with reference to findings from a current Becta-funded research project: The Learner and their Context.
Pedagogical Foundations for Personal Learning
Stephen Downes (Day Four: Sunday 10 January)
Recent developments in educational technology have centred around the concept of the personal learning environment (PLE). Viewed most abstractly, the PLE is a replacement for the virtual learning environment (VLE) that is focused on the individual learner, rather than the class or the institution. Given that much of what has been said about learning in recent years has been based on a community or social model of learning, what are we to say of pedagogy in personal learning? How are we to understand learning outcomes, shared understandings, or social consrtruction of meaning and understanding? In this talk Stephen Downes looks at the 'learning' in the personal learning environment and argues that, though the PLE looks community and sociality in a new light, its design does not weaken, but rather, preserves and enhances learning.
The Student Experience at the Crossroads
Ian Jamieson (Day Five: Monday 11 January)
Sharing the Garden: Open Educational Resources in African Contexts
Tessa Welch (Day Six: Tuesday 12 January)
This presentation will argue that the key usefulness of OER in African context is that it creates an impetus for the discovery and sharing of high quality existing resources as OER that are otherwise unknown or simply the preserve of individual institutions or publishers. In contexts in which human and material resources are constrained, the existence of OER also stimulates collaborative course design in which there are opportunities for participants in communities of practice to develop the shared understanding that results in successful adaptation of OER for different contexts and programmes. In this way the OER are grown, rather than merely consumed.
The presentation will draw on SAIDE’s experience in a pilot OER project resulting in the adaptation and use of a module in the teaching and learning of mathematics in six South African institutions, but also on the lessons of experience in taking this to scale for a teacher education space on SAIDE’s OER Africa platform.
Open and Informal: Opening up the Open University
Josie Taylor (Day Seven: Wednesday 13 January)
The Open University is exploring the development of pathways between more open and informal learning and formal learning, and is changing the nature of audience and learner interaction and participation, through the creative use of open educational resources and different media channels. Developing from the University’s main hosting website for open educational resources (http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/), the OU is extending its reach into Africa, as well as transforming teaching and learning practice in the UK. Other media channels (e.g. YouTube and ITunesU) allow us to explore how to engage different audiences in different ways to bring them into the educational sphere. Within the Institute, we have large projects running which also bring learning to wider audiences, allowing us to understand much more about how learners work with open educational resources, both in terms of consumption and creation, allowing them to cross many apparent boundaries between formal, informal, non-formal content, learner and teacher, guide and mentor, personal and institutional.
"I Wasn't Invited To The Party": Lurking in Multicultural Online Educational Forums
Stephen Bax (Day Eight: Thursday 14 January)
Through an examination of the practice of lurking, or vicarious participation, in online educational environments, this talk considers ways in which online interaction is affected by practical, social and cultural issues which extend well beyond the technological and educational questions typically addressed in discussions of online tools. It focuses on the first phase of the Third Space in Online Discussion project, a set of asynchronous international online forums in which a multicultural cohort of language teachers based in the UK and Australia took part in 2007 and 2008, and in which there was evidence of curious patterns of lurking in the first phase.
After a discussion of the literature related to lurking, both in non-educational and educational environments, data on lurking from those forums will be considered as a means of elucidating some of the practical, social, cultural and linguistic reasons identified for lurking. The talk will then conclude by indicating the strategies which were adopted in the subsequent phase of the online educational project and which led to significantly less lurking and more active involvement.