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Friday, 25 November 2011

Second visit to JISC conference

I haven't managed to return to the JISC conference since Tuesday morning, but I caught the final keynote presentation this afternoon, which was given by Ewan McIntosh, whose blog is well known.

Ewan spoke about the eight challenges for educators. These included the use of jargon and how to design the curriculum. It was another wide ranging and interesting talk. I was particularly interested in his comments about our failure to really encourage life long learning (he pointed out that only 1% of adults in the UK have a PhD). He also questioned HE's real desire to change since so much of the present system suits the sector.

The entire conference was delivered through Blackboard. The keynotes were all delivered by video. Blackboard supports a range of tools to permit the audience to interact with the speaker, such as online voting, so there was a lot of interaction -- more interaction than you normally get at a "real" conference. I enjoyed the sessions that I attended every bit as much as I would have if I had been there in person. In fact, being online has advantages in that you can immediately check out things, such as references that a speaker provides.

Online learning has fantastic potential for continued professional development.

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