Designs on eLearning #DEL12: The printer, the book, and the cloud

This week I am attending the ‘Designs on eLearning: Crowd and Cloud‘ conference hosted by the University of Arts, London. With presentation on a mixture of eLearning techniques based around the inclusion on cloud technologies, the delegates can listen to experienced innovators to gain knowledge of (good) practice and experience from those utilising different aspects of technology in their teaching and learning.

Whilst obviously aimed towards those who are involved in teaching the arts or design in some shape or other, there is a whole host of experience and knowledge that everyone can take away with them if (like me) they’re not from this type of background.

I am not going to cover each and ever session I attend, the list and this post will be too long. This is the first in a series of posts that highlight what I  liked and what struck a chord with me. Please feel free to leave a comment if anything here interests you or, if you attended the conference, to add to the report if I missed anything?

Keynote: Steve Molyneux (@ProfSMolyneux): “The printer, the ‘book’, and the cloud.”

Points that Steve makes includes:

  •  Mobile learning – mLearning – began with invention of the printing press and the first textbook. Books are mobile, personal, have granular content, structured (chapters), meta-tagged data (index, footnotes, glossary, etc), and collaborative (margin notes). New tech (e.g. tablets) add the following to this list: connected, adaptive, communicative, location aware, touch sensitive. What Steve didn’t say here is that new technology like tablets are also (currently) more desirable?
  • New tech is out of date within hours of its release as the companies involved continue to out-do themselves and each other. It’s not only the hardware that’s out of date so quickly, it’s the content, information, and approach we have to this information, and how we produce it, changes just as quickly.
  • Students have more power in their own devices that we can provide them with in the computer labs. Question: why provide these costly labs instead of providing a sturdy and secure infrastructure to support their own equipment? Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) works?
  • Best video to showcase what’s wrong with classrooms and learning is still this clip from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (amazing that some in the audience hadn’t seen it before – the clip not the film):

  • Neo-Millennials: creating and mixing existing content and ideas … when and where they want!
  • Ages of education… Control of education is no longer in the hands of the state, the teacher, or the institution. The power of education is now in the hands of the learner, in a 24/7 connected way that we have never seen before and still don’t fully understand the implications (discuss?).
  • Knowledge is power
  • iTunesU – a lengthy video clip but a good one to demonstrate the latest (2012) ‘iTunesU App Demo

  • Remove the projector to truly make the learning spaces mobile by using NearPod – lecture without a ‘front’. Steve showcased the following video demonstrating NearPod:

To close the keynote Steve explained that without a concerted and considered approach (my words) to implementation of this technology and these devices (see the above video, even using NearPod the students are still sat in rows and single seats! They should be able to move and group themselves, to aid collaboration and engagement), and the advantages that this new tech offers, we still suffer from “all the gear, no idea” mentality!