Nogbad’s Education

June 7, 2008

Reflections on the day

Filed under: LCC, OU, Social Networking, Teaching and learning — Tags: — nogbad @ 19:35
This is an abridged and extended version of a post on my other blog. I’m slightly changing it here as I think it also applies to the reason I keep this blog.

Today I was talking about “Social Networking” and I took some photos and uploaded them while we were at the venue to show the immediacy available in the digital age. The format of the conference was great and we had some quality keynote speakers.
First up was Seb Schmoller from ALT. He brought an XO laptop and that was the first time I’d physically held one so that was useful and his presentation set the scene for what we were doing – eLearning technologies in the wild and also in the OU.The poster sessions were hard work – the attendees were split into 11 groups, one per workshop, and moved round the posters while the workshop facilitators explained what the workshop was about. So we stood by the poster and burbled on to 11 different groups.

Then, after lunch and chance to catch up with friends, Denise Kirkpatrick – PVC Learning and Teaching at the OU gave a presentation about the OU’s VLE and eLearning projects (including SociaLearn).

Then the workshops. I did my stuff and then we looked at some social networking sites and we looked at how we might use some of these tools in learning and teaching. I prepared a Seesmic video before I left for the conference and I’ve just done another to “top and tail” the day. All the photos are now on Flickr.

Looking at what I took from my workshop I think the main messages are that there is a real hunger to understand these technologies and no real way for most people to know how to engage with them. While I’ve been writing this I’ve been and signed up for Tumblr to see what it might offer – how might a colleague get from reading Wikipedia to, perhaps, editing it to messing about with Firefox extensions to see whether hyperwords is a useful Firefox extension?
I think we need to find ways of making sure that we don’t leave people behind or, worse, alienate them by talking technobabble without offering a series of easy routes to access the tools. I think we’re already past the tipping point and another digital divide is opening between educators using these technologies and those becoming increasingly fearful of the technical changes which everyone else seems able to handle but them.

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