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Posts Tagged ‘Education Policy’

Digital Inclusion & Policy 

Overview; I previously promised to write a blog post on the practicalities and way forward relating to Digital Inclusion based on upcoming events. The Curated Conversation on Digital Inclusion and, subsequently a workshop on Social Digital Research organised by UK Online Centres and held as part of Dr. Ellen Helsper’s work relating to Media Policy at the LSE. This post will pick up on some of the issues raised partly to promote awareness on Digital Day in Adult Learners Week, partly to highlight issues that a networked digital society might have to address.

At TEL (the Technology Enhanced Learning Research Programme) we have been experimenting with fresh ways of developing research-driven policy recommendations. We had tried out a series of “curated conversations” on innovation during Autumn 2011 held at the BIS Innovation Space hosted by Annabelle Simmons. They had been on Education Innovation, on Technology Innovation and on Social Innovation for a Network Society. So when Professor Jane Seale organised a research workshop for TEL on Digital Inclusion it seemed logical to hold a curated conversation, which lasts just one hour, at the end of that day.

Curated conversations had three initials inspirations. Firstly they were inspired by the collegiality of the interdisciplinary conversations that characterised the RSA Tavern Room in the eighteenth century and which pre-figured and, in part, shaped the industrial revolution. Secondly Professor Theodore Zeldin has been using a curated conversation over dinner as part of a project to stimulate engagement in deprived communities during the recession. Thirdly, and most importantly, they were inspired by Ewan MacIntosh’s development of TeachMeets five years ago as a form of condensed self-organised professional development for teachers lasting just one hour. Professor Richard Noss of the London Knowledge Lab and I had wanted to create a form of “ResearchMeet” where we could cover a wide range of concepts and discuss them in a very condensed form and produce policy recommendations as a result.

Jane Seale had just published a new pamphlet asking “What next for Digital Inclusion?”, (more…)

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(1) From Education to Learning; A Brief History of Open

If we try to untangle the impact of the web on education we can describe it as enabling a shift from a focus on education as a system to learning as a process, particularly since the web itself has become more open, social and participatory, especially since Web 2.0.  So how did we get here?

Background; I myself (@fredgarnett) started looking at the impact of the Web, indirectly, in 1984 when I began teaching a Unit called Information, Technology and Society. Deciding that taking the tropes of the Industrial Revolution and applying them to the Information Revolution was way too limited I looked instead at how the social organisation of settlements emerged out of agriculture and that from hunter-gathering; maps, flints and fires. Inspired by Yoneji Masuda and Nikolai Kondratieff, and my own observations, by 1988 I had evolved the NSU model, so-called because I think social change comes from new Networks being built, new Services being provided and new User behaviours emerging, over 50-year long-wave Kondratieff economic cycles stimulated by new technologies; the micro-chip was invented in 1971. New economies emerge from new networks of distribution. In 1989 I wrote a story to capture the changes we might see by 2021 as a Masters paper called Homi & the NeXT One (the title a tribute to Steve Jobs). Consequently I have had some understanding of the process by which new technology changes society ever since. For me the key aspect discernible over the last 250 years (especially when preceded by a knowledge revolution like the scientific revolution) are the cumulative effects of unnoticed second-order, or unanticipated, effects; hence the poverty of most predictions about the future which focus on first-order (anticipated effects) based on the knowledge of experts whose expertise is historically based.

Watching the Web Flow 1990s; Being more Utopian than dystopian I looked forward to the, then, forthcoming information revolution democratising our representative democracy, with its UK roots in the 17th Century (1689), by enabling new participatory *constitutions* to be written, redefining the social relations by which we live. Whether they be communications, networked or mash-ups, technologies don’t change society, they create first-order effects, that is consequences of what the technologies were designed to do. Social change comes from users inventing new use-states in line with their beliefs and social behaviours. (more…)

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#purposedpsi Sheffield April 30th

This is a post expanding on my talk at the Purpos/ed Event for a wonderful bunch of  educational ‘Instigators’ at Sheffield. The slides are on slideshare and I will expand on those points and include some of the discussions from the day here. Doug Belshaw had asked me to keep it simple and to look at Keri Facer’s new book on Learning Futures. Keri looks at a number of issues relating to how schools might be organised in 2035 but the point that appealed to me most was the one of ‘slow citizenship‘ as it tied in with my Purpos/ed post discussing the Scottish notion of the Democratic Intellect and our  complete (English) inability to make the link between the life we want and the responsibilities of citizenship.

Keri’s vision of slow citizenship, or taking time to build the future you want, requires ‘sustained commitment to the lived communities, local neighbourhoods & social relationships through which we live(more…)

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purpos/ed

So far in reflecting on the Purpose of Education, meeting the challenge that Mike Wesch set us, we have had some stimulatingly personal views from Lou, Stephen and Cristina.  But Ewan gave us a Scottish perspective taking in the policy horizon, highlighting the collaborative nature of their Curriculum for Excellence.

Pat Kane elaborated on this collaborative quality in Scottish education at the Really Free School on Friday and situated it in a deeper tradition he called the Democratic Intellect. He challenged the audience, most of whom were sharp, newly radicalised students, to describe how they saw the relationship between Citizenship and Education. Unsurprisingly, to me, no one gave him an answer; why?  (more…)

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& The Pull of Learning

I started these posts by looking at the outcomes of #BectaX and identified three possible policy outcomes that would reflect the debates and proposals that group of motivators and builders came up with; Infrastructure, Collaboration & Participation. I suggested wrapping them up in a Web 2.0 programme of CPD for all educational professionals. In election week, with a plethora of suggestions for education policies post-election, I am going to look at how Obliquity might help and why learning is a Pull that fits well in an emerging world of social media.

(more…)

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Learning Matters

As mentioned in last weeks blog Education policy tends to focus on institutions and management rather than on learners and professionals. These big picture issues not only allow politicians to show how well (value for money) they spend our tax-pounds (School buildings), but also to retain the political assumptions behind the policy. Critically the current approach to policy formulation hides both the context within which education operates and ignores the learning and teaching process itself. Education policy continues to remain concerned with discussing the business model and not the learning-process. So lets look at what education policy might be if it was the learning that really mattered and it we focussed on learner-centred approaches.

This blog is concerned with promoting the Open Context Model of Learning and the post-Web 2.0 views of Education of the Learner-Generated Contexts Group. As a group we also realise that you have to change education policy to get the kind of systemic transformation necessary to implement the learner-centred approaches we advocate. As a result we have already spent some time reviewing what a learner-centred policy in the 21st Century might consist of. Over the past two years we have surveyed a range educational professionals on what their preferred policy might be in a project called the Policy Forest. So let’s examine what happened when we offered a range of possible policy statements reflecting traditional, web 2.0 and learner-centred approaches.

If you would rather take the survey before learning of its outcomes then download the Policy-Forest-survey. (more…)

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