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Reflections on LAMS09 conference

LAMS 09 conference, 7th July 09

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Juliette Culver
7 July 2009

Patrick - There does seem to be sufficient convergence happening that some of the limitations of the past have gone. Whether convergence about something simple enough that not just people in this room find it interesting and are prepared to face it. Better starting place than was five years ago, but whether actually five year better starting place not so sure.

Sheila: I don't know if we are simple enough. Discussions over last five years. Articulating problem better, but tools are becoming simpler. Are moving forward, maybe more than we realise. Still gap. Things I can see - widgets particular, people can get head round very quickly. More quick wins will bring more people into conversaiton at the level they want to engage in it.

Dejan(?): From opening keynote, seeing systems trying to be many things to many people. In spirit of LDSE project, in order to get people on board, find a way of linking separate specialised context/CoP, rather than press everybody into one method/community.

Diana: Been in this field in many decades, five years not very long. What takes to change things, analogy groping for yesterday about what making. Making equivalent of pencil and paper for teacher. Think how long it took to develop writing implements that are really that easy to use for developing creative design tool fantastically complicated. Lots more complicated than writing, going to take a bit longer than five years to develop digital tool, understanding learning and teaching process inform that makes creative design process. Trying to make sure each step benign step towards what we are trying to do, keep vision, recognising that LAMS and other tools early equivalient of slate. Every time I see LAMS think there's been fantastic progress. New version incredibly impressive. Gives terribly valuable foundation. May not be the main stream may only be cognoscenti. Another 5/10 years will do something significant.

James: Compare with development of music notations, took few hundred years. Often reflect on Tim Berners-Lee put forward idea of web, had lots more feature than today's browser. Web 2.0 really only taken off in mass use in last five year. First web browser had those features. Fascinating because in a sense interconnected web. The world was not ready enough yet, took 15 years maybe bit less until Web 2.0 things really took off. Even when can see over horizon can take significant amount of progress.

Dai: Picking up on the musical thing. Another way that metaphor makes me think is that used to have big bands and then along came rock and roll. Rock and roll simplified it, don't need that complexity. 15 years down line, ludicrous, complicated prog rock, then came punk. Go through cycles of complexity and simplification. Domain here that we can articulate in lots of different ways. All satisfactory to somebody at some time. Right for different purposes. Similiar types of changes. Don't see a promised land and I don't think we're going get there. We'll be in continual dialogue with ourselves and emerging technology and make wonder if right place. Sorry, don't think LAMS will ever be perfect.

Sheila: Following up from Dai, whole point educators anywhere, want things to change, don't want to get point where we've solved everything.

Helen: I'm really heartened by main research last couple of years with learners about experiences of e-learning. Really unpicked a lot of the myths about the google generation. Vast majority of students still look to their tutors to be guided in their use of technology. Lots of HE students introduced to blogs, twitter by their lectures. Ideas that tutors in flight from technicaly gifted students is undone. Students not doing it for themselves, including not disadvantaged students. Not active in exploring potential of tools, using potential they'd be shown. Small number of people pioneering in education and technology.

Diana: Wonder about analogy with music. Music is fantastically successful human enterprise. Think about what music is and huge variety of accomplishment, fantastically successful. Education isn't anywhere near as successful as music as a human enterprise. Quality of human and learning achieveing doesn't match quality of what comes out of music. Analogy I draw is that still got a long way to go and what can yet become. Harder to do maybe. Don't know why taken so long. Become institutionalised in way not helpful. Have been telling ourselves that way been doing not always so great, not just about presenting your subject and transmitting knowledge. Don't think is always going to be as chaotic and unsucessful. Making it more like music.

Dai: Couldn't have music without learning and education. History of music is a result of people learning. Lot of question between two description is where draw background between education and learning.

Chris (?): I am a musician. Different thing, need to look a humanware, not software or hardware and how we learn.

Dejan(?): Trouble me from yesterday, how do you go aboutteacher wants to teach creatively art course. Teaching not bohemian inspirational things. Got targets, like marketing. Commision creative people to get message across. Has element of creativity but can be teased out from recommendations from the past. Systematic targetting of the interventions that yield what you are after. Inspiration and things come into mind, but no target. One of debates about targets. Simple answer to create better human beings. You have success criteria. Where analogy music not accurate.

Helen: I do disagree that teaching isn't creative. I've taught creative writing. Had great flashes of insight into how to teach particular concepts, but have been able to describe afterwards why good idea pedaogically and reflect on why worked. Came up with idea for teaching sonnets, works everytime. Can now describe why it works and why targets what essential about a sonnet. Can describe and share intentions without destroying creativity.

Dejan (?): Expertise precondition for creativity. Being familiar with tricks in the book implicity, tacitly. In music analogy writing jingle for specific audience. Similiary when creating piece of teaching, might think mechanistically with realising it frome experience. From psychology of creativity.

James: Some types of music improvisational e.g. jazz, certain types indigenous music, entirely a lived experience. Music in western tradition, bach, beethoven, mozart. Enriched by being able to experience because notated in way we can understand. Capturing great music, but other musical experiences completely different. Try to apply to education, do both things in teaching, improvise and prepare lesson plans or structure and give to colleagues. When ask many people about great teaching experiences, very often describe improvisational end. Something fascinating thing often remember, stil trying to work out how to capture great teaching in a structured way so others might benefit over time and space. Both elements exist in music and education. Look forward to day where great lesson plan something we aspire to and talk about. Don't want to lose the improvisational.

?: Haven't been part of this community have been in other communities interested in design, interesting to see similiarites and differences between the group. So much design knowledge in this group. Wonderful that all these different efforts of trying to abstract that and clarify what is it about specific designs that make them so successful. How can connect between different specifics. 

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