Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Learning e-learning in Canberra

Sir Roland Wilson Building at ANUGreetings from the GAGGLE @ The Australian National University. This is a free meeting of educators at the ANU in Canberra, on e-learning and distance education. The program had to be changed to put the expert panel debate on first, because, ironically, the data projector is missing. Yoni Ryan, Allan Herrmann and Robert Fitzgerald are debating about the detail, standardisation and precision needed for describing university courses. What will be interesting is if universities will swallow their pride and ask for help from the vocational sector and industry bodies who have been doing this for years.

Robert Fitzgerald talked about the importance of the notion of presence with technology such as Twitter (his presentation is on Slideshare). He cited "The Social Life of Information", "The Wealth of Networks" and "Opening Up Education". He argued that Facebook had a symmetrical relationship (I would call it binary), where you have friends and not friends, whereas Twitter allows more complex relationships. It would seem to me that technology like Mahara would suit this.

Allan Herrmann talked about the effect of learning spaces on learning and how to design flexible learning spaces, both physical and virtual. He started with a quote from Alice Through the Looking Glass, the point of it was you need to know where you want to get to when designing the physical spaces and learning materials. He recommended the latest EduCause on designing learning spaces.

When someone finds the data projector, we will have Karen Visser and Jenny Edwards on the best of EDUCAUSE 2009.

Topics include the implementation of the open source Moodle learning management system at ANU (which I am using next semester to teach Green ICT around the world).

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