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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Innovating in E-Learning 2011

I am attending a JISC conference this week, entitled Innovating in E-Learning. It's an online conference, which is ideal since this is a busy week for me and I could not have attended a "real" conference due to work commitments. But an online conference allows me to pop-in to the conference when I have time.

I "attended" today's keynote presentation by David Puttnam entitled "Towards a digital pedagogy". Through the miracle of technology, his presentation is already online. It was a wide ranging, interesting talk, which covered globalisation and the effect of digital technology on learning. He made the observation that a surgeon from 1911 would be completely lost in the 21st Century operating theatre but the school teacher would be familiar with the 21st Century classroom: "Technology has not been permitted to make an impact". He asked "Why are we making such heavy weather of transforming learning?". He also said that "we should not simply digitise current practice" but use technology in new and innovative ways. He emphasised the importance of continued professional development for teachers. He concluded by stating that "The 1960's approach to teaching and learning cannot be sustained".

I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more about pedagogy, and some fundamental questions were not addressed -- such as "Is technology simply a tool or does it fundamentally change pedagogy?". But it was very interesting to listen to someone with such a interesting background and commitment to education.

The conference continues until Friday.

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