Realising Dreams, Avoiding Nightmares, Accepting Responsibilities

0113 ALTC 2009 Martin Weller, Brian Kelly

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The Cloudworks Team
24 August 2009

ALT-C 2009 Session: This Cloud has been set up to aggregate live blogs, comments, discussion and links for this session.

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Brain Kelly and Martin Weller started by asking us to share our dreams are. Groupwork at am in the morning. How brave.

Taking some brief notes about the discussion. I am no touch typist so these are brief highlights and hints rather than a full discussion. Flip video ad other scribes (crowdvine?) were being used to capture so may get another record from that. Group ideas in (sort of) order below, but any group members reading this please feel free to add extras as comment or content. 

1. Digital literacy as a starting point. Informal choices of learners and teachers empowered by digital tools.
2. From lifelong learning perspective looking at eportfolios will access be possible to these into the future? Can we keep informality and empowerment while still working towards exams and through the formal system.
3. Group member from NZ reckons that we don't know what financial problems are! This groups' vision was around transparency and openness and sharing best practice while remaining pragmatic about the institutional and financial implications.
4. Having a no barriers (no lock out/firewall) and pushing beyond that to instinctive and easy approach to use of technologies. This may need to change human nature because its about trust and behaviour - no MALware or SPAM. Technology should be invisible with open sharing or knowledge and sharing of resources. Let's change human nature why don't we? After all this is a dream, let's make it a good one. (I was in this group).
5. Dream inflation happening now. Infromal learning should be accredited to shouldn't we stop worrying about assessment so much and break some of the models that we have? Good questions.
6. Everybody can take part in learning. The dream needs to meet the needs of students who like learning but (currently) hate being at university. This group also liked the idea of invisibility too. but were pushing for the experience to be so much better and human. Thinking about sometimes meeting people face to face, travelling to meet them even when it was not so conveniebnce. Can we build  in that 'extra'? This group also talked about aspects of game playing that make it possible to stop when it gets boring. Can't do that in education. Perhaps in the current undream world universities can get away with boring people/activities?
7. Taking the richness of student interaction, the integrity and the humanness and making this happen in the dream future. Encountering people online in a pofoundly human way. Can we go further towards this.
8. Even with very different organisations we are talking about the way that humans communicate.
9.  Students will come to a space where they can negotiate their own learning and can embed technologies. No blocking of technologies like Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Interlude when Martin starts showing his video while also experiment ingwith the lighting effects. Obviously not quite at the instictictive invisible dream level yet. :-)

Martin shows two videos giving different visions of technology and then launches us into a fruit-based analogy. Universities sell apples, mainly apples, just different varieties. Superficial differences but its the same thing,  How about having a variety? An assembled/aggregated mix Any time, just in time revisited using the network to deliver rather than the formal SCORM vision of first time around. Followed by demos of his 'Zombies in Plain English' (highly informal course) made in trailfire, with content drawn in from YouTube and Slides Share, social networks, etc., links to Scribd paper and ending with a quiz. Sharing is easier now and easy sharing needs to be the base for the future of education. Students need to be taught how to share. We talk about sharing in meetings but make little progress and then go online and share easily all the time. So we know how to do it. (Ref: Scott Leslie blog). Range of tools (Alan Levine 50 web 2.0 ways to tell a story - see http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/50+Ways recommended). We have a range of content but need to stop being 'academic snobs'. QA in universities needs to reflect the 'unknowability' around education, recognising what is changing. Moving away from heavy duty collaboration to rictionless sharing.

Asked to go back ten years and think about what would need to change if we were to achieve this. Various interesting ideas from groups on instiutional and individual changes. Brian closes out the session with interesting observations about risks and responsibility.  Is Google going down a risk to your website or is that trivial compared to the risk to the Western world? Go back and share the dreams, with resposibility at all levels. Do it.

Chris Pegler
10:34 on 9 September 2009

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Chris Pegler
10:35am 9 September 2009


Always wondered how those livebloggers did it and still have no idea. Just even more awe.

Gráinne Conole
10:49am 9 September 2009


Sounds like an interesting session Chris - any chance of adding links to the two video cips Martin used? Would be interesting to explore this question more broadly in the community and see what level of consensus (or not!) we get.

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