Keynote - Salmon: The tree of learning

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Gráinne Conole
26 October 2010

  • Adoption of the metapor of the tree of life – evolution in its various forms. Darwin evoked the idea of the tree of life. The tree of learning.
  • Learning: informal, schools, primary, secondary, vocational, universities, work based, professional, CoP, CPD, distance, blend, campus based, bright rays of techno-shine over the last twenty years or so.
  • Roots of learning: Curriculum – Ralph Tyler - Curriculum John Locke - empiricist, Charlemagne (father of Europe), Erasmus on the method of study, Raphael’s school of Athens, Ptolemaic library and research Institute at Alexandria
  • Diversity of learning: some models have dies, others are emerging all the time.
  • Informal learning: Ivy Bean 104 older Tweeter, from chained libraries to open resources (for example OTTER).
  • Without most of us noticing when it happened, the web went from being a strange new curiosity to a background condition of everyday life Guardian 23/10/2009
  • Work-based learning: emergency evacuation procedures for oil rigs in virtual royal navy engineering
  • Aims of wide access high quality and low cost are not achievable even in principle with traditional models of HE based on classroom teaching in campus communities –John Daniel March 2009. British Library is now digitising many of its resources and making them available on the web.
  • Building schools for the future: Hole in the wall – India (Sugata Mitra) Self-organising learning, Alsop High School – Liverpool (hand held devices connected to the internet), School bus in Japan.
  • Eric Hoffer - In times of change these learners are inheriting the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
  • CALF Creating Academic Learning Futures www.le.ac.uk/calf
  • John Richardson when it comes to the future, there are three types of people - let it happen, make it happen, wonder what happened.
  • Differentiation – innovation, learner preferences – natural selection, new generations – constant evolution.
  • We are living in a rapidly shifting landscape.
  • Three horizons of innovation for education – extend and defend core, build emerging business, create viable options.
  • Biggest challenge is to shift resources to new address and to address how threatening this is to existing staff.
  • The nature of resistance to change – why do we see change as a challenge?
  • Open and Distance learning is now normal. 

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Dominic Newbould
9:18am 26 October 2010


What a neat summary: for a live blog during Gilly's presentation, you must have developed lightning-fast digits...

The tone is interesting: is GS still fighting the cause for credibility of eLearning? I can imagine that fight having to be fought in China and other parts of Asia, but it's a battle won in Europe and America - even Africa, isn't it?

Suzanne Aurilio
4:33pm 26 October 2010


  • Biggest challenge is to shift resources to new address and to address how threatening this is to existing staff.
Three Ideas for addressing the threat to existing staff
  • Be real and candid about the threat. I think we do them a disservice and diminish our credibility when we don't.  
  • For that to work it's good to build credibility and reliability as a professional development professional. Trust is in short supply, particularly in American organizations (as a rule, I think). 
  • Make space in the discourse for dissent, skepticism and other critical expressions. Feeling disempowered goes hand in hand with feeling threatened. Critical discourse is part of academic culture. 

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