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Posts Tagged ‘Ewan Mcintosh’

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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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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XBectaX not #BectaX

Heather Brooke in the Secret State, published in April, flatly states that there is no way that we will invent a “British Google” as the UK Government is far too obsessed with secrecy to allow it to happen. I was part of the team who developed a prototype “Facebook for Learning” for the DfES in 2003, who then paid management consultants £4m to describe it as a “Google for Learning,” which I always assumed was simply out of ignorance about social media. Well it was 2003, and all the expensive management consultants could come up with as a metaphor was Google. So maybe perhaps, yes, that did set off the alarm bells in the Cabinet Office and they closed it down to restrict civil rights, as Heather Brooke suggests. Ignorant Cock-up or knowing Conspiracy? Who knows? (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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