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Home Group 5

Cloud created by:

Roger Mills
14 September 2011

Home Group Leader:  JENNIFER O'ROURKE

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Jennifer, That was great.

Dr Philipa Idogho
20:23 on 2 October 2011

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Roger Mills
11:29am 25 September 2011

Helllo everyone

Roger Mills
11:29am 25 September 2011

Helllo everyone

Jennifer O'Rourke
8:20am 29 September 2011

Cambridge Conference 2011

Group 5

Group members:

Big Issues and themes emerging from conference that will continue to be relevant for future


1. The challenge of reconciling diversity, technological uniformity and social justice.


2. Placing learners’ needs and human input before technology.


3. Incorporating social justice into curriculum.


These themes emerged from the following issues we identified:

1. Diversity, technology and social justice:

There can never be just one blueprint for provision: different contexts present different challenges. So it is important to consider how we deal with these challenges, that depend on perceptions, goals and achievements.

The issue of private, for-profit provision versus public provision of education will continue to be relevant, along with the implications of the costs for students and for society. (Thomas, Rashida)

Global thinkers help local thinkers to think globally. On the other hand there are specific problems that only local people can resolve. The environmental mantra, think globally, act locally, also applies to ODEL. (Maria)

2. Placing learners’ needs ahead of technology-driven imperatives.

There can be social justice inequities in how ODEL techniques are used in specific contexts. For example, on contexts in which “high touch”, i.e. direct human interaction is very important, both learning techniques and learning technologies must meet this need. For example, using blended learning in Romania responds appropriately to social and cultural preferences for human interaction. (Evelyn)

Ensuring that teachers have appropriate and adequate training for ODEL is essential.

Students use technologies in their own ways for their own purposes, and we should observe and learn from the ways in which they use them. It is possible to adapt ways of using popular technologies (iPads, smart phones) so that they are effective learning tools.

Commercially driven technology developments can deepen inequalities. The rationale for technological change makes a difference- is it a profit motive or other priorities?

We need to consider the local context. If you know who the learners are, you will be able to respond to their needs. Instead of putting technology as the first consideration, starting from learners’ needs prompts more creative, responsive solutions. For example, in rural areas where there is limited or no connectivity in people’s homes, there are often internet cafes in the community. An educational provider can establish a partnership with internet cafes to cover some of learners’ costs for using an internet cafe, to improve internet access for learners. (Gezani)

3. Incorporating social justice into the curriculum

How can we rebuild curriculum to realise social justice in all subject areas? Technology is not the aim, it is the means. We need to base its use on intended outcomes, and identify how technology can help us to realize those outcomes. (Philipa)

Is there a hidden curriculum in ODEL? The official curriculum tends to be mostly theoretical, enabling learners to obtain qualifications, and meeting learners’ instrumental goals. The unofficial curriculum can address underlying social and professional issues that are not readily brought into a more public discourse. For example, it may be difficult to raise issues of ethics in societies or sectors of a society in which unethical behaviour is rampant and broadly accepted. However, addressing these issues is an essential strategy in promoting change. Interaction, discourse and participation that is embedded in human elements of the learning process are essential for addressing issues that require widespread behavioural change in a community. (Olufunke)





Jennifer O'Rourke
8:25am 29 September 2011

I have posted our final report to the Cloud- based on our large-scale print version of the cloud.

Group 5 members- please feel free to add your comments and corrections. I've identified some of those who contributed ideas, but not all (due to my limited recall capacity) so please feel free to identify your contributions and to add to our report

All Cambridge conference participants: please feel free to add your comments and input 


Thanks to all for a wonderful conference



Sept. 29/11


Thank you for everything and especially for your help during discussions.

Maria de Fátima Rodrigues de Lemos

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