October 03, 2008

FOTE 2008 notes

My live notes from the Future of Technology in Education event at Imperial College…

Google lady (from the sales corps)
Talking about the cloud, storage vectors, 60% 3G phones by 2010
Asserting that edu is still catching up with this
Google says it ‘can help’ – by innovating for us(!)
Google apps for education – usual stack; Gmail, Apps, Gears
‘The Big Switch’, book by Nicholas Carr – moving to the cloud
Saying we should concentrate on our ‘core business’ and let Google do everything else.
Q. Why use Google apps? A. Because students already use these apps and expect to be able to use them – I’m not convinced by this, many students I’ve asked don’t know anything about Google apps, and what would we be providing over and above? Why not just let them keep using those things as individuals and promote their use? Provides continuity…
Q. What protection does Google offer regarding data, service models? A. Google guarantees via contract, 5-year rule. Google apps should attract users because its good. Response – what about the erosion of internal expertise over time? Argues that email isn’t core.

Mobile technologies
Saying that mobile has been with us for years, showing pictures saying its just got smaller/more convenient/ubiquitous
Mobile allows new ways of learning? Push content, TV etc.
Concept of centrality via device
(aside – looking round here, there are more Linux ultra-portables and Macs than PCs about)

Why portability matters – BBC Backstage
Users is now back in control?
Multiple accounts, identity management is hard, OpenID
Thin clients, EEE etc. cloud has propretiary pitfalls, Second Life
Mentions GetSatisfaction.com, Yammer, using Basecamp, saying that the info is being collated/stored by another party, has issues. Basecamp lets you export your data for instance when you close an account, Flickr suggests alternative/rival services when closing your account with migration tools
Downtime scheduling clashes with UK, is Twitterdown.com etc.
Shows how Flickr will ‘enhance’ your content with other stuff, tags, comments.
Some good stuff here in general about being careful about reliance on the cloud.

James Broad, Yahoo, Opening up the web
Works on finance.yahoo.com
Open standards driving adoption/innovation, esp. auth mechanisms
Mentions customisable pages, BBC, Facebook apps, integration of Facebook into Yahoo homepage, Read and Write web, microformats, YQL, WAI ARIA.
Says that Flash is the future (just checking you’re reading this)

Personalisation of Learning, Philip Butler, ULCC
‘Harnessing Technology Review 2007’, BECTA report
‘Technology motivates learning’ – going back to Google’s earlier message, does that suggest that the alternative is that technology integration actually is core business for HE? It’s easy to twist that argument both ways
Cultural shifts – networking, community, personalisation, immediacy, interactive, asynchrony, technologies in your pocket
VLE, Personal Learning Plans within VLE, progression, ownership
Taken screen from LearnZone (BBC), showing personal gateway, updates, timetable etc.

Tim Marshall, JANET
IPTV, trends, demo of HDTV stream, 1100kbps
Student-produced content, needs leadership, some kind of community of student producers?
IPTV briefing 6 Nov – better streaming technologies are inevitable, the key is ubiquity and standards. If this (quite cool) streaming platform requires students to install another plugin, it isn’t going to catch on unless it’s adopted as a standard

Miles Metcalf, Ravensbourne
User-owned technology, using commodity computing, no longer need to supply laptops, hardware
Opportunities for integrating with user-owned computing
Software as a service, user choice now matters, can’t dictate so much
Role of IT Services – arbiter of fair use, defender of scarce resource, agent of transformation, or just plain service provider?
Control is being lost, network access via 3G for instance
Extra-institutional practice into institutional learning
Personal Learning Environments – allows external and internal integration of material
Ad-hoc comms mean different social behaviours
Thinks the VLE should still be part of the stack, but still a bounded system
OpenID far from perfect, but says better than Shibboleth because it would cross boundaries (education/commercial)
Talking about why we shouldn’t be on Facebook as an institution

Building 21st Century LEs, John Hickey, Apple
Students creating new fields of study
Guidance, scaffolding
Different models of engagement, media-rich, producers of content
Going into a classroom almost like ‘taking a flight’, turning off devices, disconnecting
Widening gap between the outside world and education – perception of outside world being more advanced
‘Shift in power’, consumerisation of IT
Example – don’t provide generous email quota, students just move to Gmail – easy to do
Catch-up mode
Context/Core analogy; Core being the things you do yourself as an institution, Context is everything else – flip the 80/20 rule so that 20% is context – suspicious about the driver here, enterprise would say that, but Apple do have a track-record (e.g. iTunesU).
Showing iTunesU promo video, targets student/public – shows how to navigate, get to institutional homepages, how the feeds work, iPod use etc.

Tom Abbott, Warwick University
Explosion in HE – creativity, student as producers
Moving from extraordinary to ‘core’, sustainable output
Students are digitally-literate, but faculty generally less so
Lectures possibly outmoded (although still relevant)
Fail again, but fail better
Talking about Warwick’s toolset – CMS, blogs, easy publishing, video and audio
Recording applications demoed and worked!

Alastair Mitchell, Huddle
Good choice of Dilbert cartoons – ‘Everything is a platform’
I quite like Huddle – vastly different from the early betas, with doc workflow management and more collaborative features than most other platforms I’ve seen (that aren’t Sharepoint).

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. James Bateman

    Stephen it looks like you have the IT knowledge I’m aspiring to. Very much the students as producers. Lets try not to get left behind as educators.
    I’m trying to catch up…

    15 Oct 2008, 22:06

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