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OU Conference: Interviews

For the conference Martin Weller interviewed the OU Vice Chancellor, Martin Bean, and three OU...

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Martin Weller
15 June 2010

For the conference Martin Weller interviewed the OU Vice Chancellor, Martin Bean, and three OU colleagues: Grainne Conole, Simon Buckingham-Shum and Andrew Law. The discussions focused around the impact of technology on learning, openness in education, interesting trends, and the open approach of the conference. 

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Will Woods
2:42pm 18 June 2010 (Edited 2:44pm 18 June 2010)

I like Martin's comments about eBooks and the disaggregation of content. We had a debate about this recently and although publishers prefer book as the standard level of 'content packaging' the overwhelming majority of consumers and institutions are favouring a higher level of granularity for educational resources which can be consumed and cross referenced in ways that allow this disaggregation. I wonder what level of granularity will be settled on and what it will take to move the world forward in the same way that music content online has resolved to the song level and micropayment model breaking away from the traditional concept of 'album'? 

Will Woods
3:03pm 18 June 2010

Grainne mentions using blogging for "half baked ideas" - I think this is true to some extent but I find the more I use the media the more time I spend trying to get the blogs 'right' and fit for the audience that I think will be interested. This means a lot of the time I don't blog but put speculative ideas into Tweets or short emails or wait for f2f chats. Is there a peer group pressure element to blogging that makes it less loosely structured than you would first imagine or is my experience not shared by others. I'd be interested to know. Maybe the fact that blogs require a level of cognitive engagement is actually important and makes the blogosphere what it is.

Gráinne Conole
8:23am 19 June 2010 (Edited 7:45pm 19 June 2010)

Ooops maybe admiting alot of what I do is 'half-baked' is not such a wise move from a professional credability point of view! ;-) In my defense :-) I find it useful to use my blog as a vehicle for voicing current thinking which may either not have any empirical evidence to back it up at that point or may still be so embryonic that its not ready for a peer-reviewed journal or chapter. I find the comments and feedback I get invaluable in terms fo working this up. You mention Twitter Will and I also find its interesting how I mix the use of the different media. So I probably use Twitter my blog and Cloudworks most. I like the way Cloudworks enable short-burst conversations like this one and to my mind complements Twitter and my blog. Twitter I mainly use for banter or announcing things or short comments.

Carlos Montoro
3:47am 22 June 2010


I've watched your discussion with Martin and enjoyed it very much. Your comment (9:13) on the near-ubiquity of technology in the developed world made me think about how different things are in the developing world (for instance, in Mexico, where I'm now based). You seem to be well aware of this, judging from your comment. 

Thanks for sharing your ideas.

Gráinne Conole
5:08am 22 June 2010

Hi Carlos

Glad you liked it, it was fun making it! Yes I totally agree with you about the near-ubiquity issue in different countries - access can be a real barrier or enabler dependiing on how good it is! There are alot of complex factors (technical, pedagogical, organisational and cultural) which need to be taken together in terms of whether or not there will be successful uptake and use of technollogies.

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interviews   Martin Bean   openness in education   OU   OUConf10   technology and learning


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