A Critical Appraisal of Technology in the University


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My presentation at Innovative Learning 2012. http://www.publicserviceevents.co.uk/221/innovative-learning

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A Critical Appraisal of Technology in the University

  1. 1. A Critical Appraisal ofTechnology in the University Dr Richard Hall [@hallymk1/rhall1@dmu.ac.uk]
  2. 2. DMU context
  3. 3. Maximising potential: a resilient strategy?What is the place of technology in the idea of theUniversity?How do technologies help us to realise or diminish ourvalues, and how do they impact the social relationsthat emerge around these values?Can strategy for embedding technology relate it to thebroader humane activities of the University?
  4. 4. Enhancing Learning through Technology “The transformation of learning by staff and students through the situated use of technology”.The debate has amplified issues around the following [risks].• Curriculum control/change-management: ad hoc vs strategic control vs staff digital/technical literacy.• Support and skills in-house: quality/distinctive or interesting vs boring.• Elasticity of demand and service-provision: developing technologies that will enable emerging and future web applications.
  5. 5. This!
  6. 6. http://bit.ly/MNPOpn
  7. 7. governance and enclosure inthe public organisation
  8. 8. • Twitter: EFF/American Civil Liberties Union; Birgitta Jonsdottir; U.S. Department of Justice; Wikileaks.• LinkedIn: cracking a service; aggregating data for future cracking; confirming guesses about passwords; comparing hacked data against pre- computed versions; broadening "guessable” data.• Facebook, Google and Twitter: new obligation to identify “trolls” ; internet companies will have to surrender the details of those posting libellous messages.• Leveson: Hunt’s private Gmail account; role of the information commissioner; use of private (email) accounts to conduct official business is subject to FoI. Service resilience; confidentiality/privacy; copyright/copyleft/content distribution; data security/back-ups; control/deletion
  9. 9. the legal standard for production of information by a third party,including cloud computing services under US civil and criminal lawis whether the information is under the "possession, custody orcontrol" of a party that is subject to US jurisdiction.It doesn’t matter where the information is physically stored, wherethe company is headquartered or, importantly, where the personwhose information is sought is located.The issue for users is whether the US has jurisdiction over thecloud computing service they use, and whether the cloudcomputing service has “possession, custody or control” of theirdata, wherever it rests physically. EFF (2012): http://bit.ly/yqsrps
  10. 10. • Risk-management at a range of scales: does it matter if someone accesses your stuff? [Dropbox; subject to FoI]• What about corporate governance, including access to services that are marketised? [Google-Verizon and a two- speed internet; costs of accessing data in marketised HE?]• Does it matter if the responsible academic gets hit by a bus? [assessment; what should be managed in-house or hosted via a contract?]• Do we understand that data is being transferred into a service and that we have responsibilities? [T&Cs; IP; protected characteristics; indemnities for libel]• How do we work-up the digital literacies of our staff/students in this space?
  11. 11. innovative learning in adisrupted world
  12. 12. 1. There is a strong correlation between energy use and GDP.2. Global energy demand is on the rise yet oil supply is forecast to decline in the next few years.3. There is no precedent for oil discoveries to make up for the shortfall, nor is there a precedent for efficiencies to relieve demand on this scale.4. Energy supply looks likely to constrain growth.5. Global emissions currently exceed the IPCC marker scenario range. The Climate Change Act 2008 has made the -80%/2050 target law, yet this requires a national mobilisation akin to war-time.6. Probably impossible but could radically change the direction of HE in terms of skills required and spending available.7. We need to talk about this.
  13. 13. Futures: what might we do in public?Principle 1: educational futures work should aim tochallenge assumptions rather than present definitivepredictions.Principle 2: the future is not determined by itstechnologies.Principle 3: thinking about the future always involvesvalues and politics.Principle 4: education has a range of responsibilities thatneed to be reflected in any inquiry into or visions of itsfuture. Facer and Sandford. 2010. The next 25 years? http://bit.ly/LtOWFl
  14. 14. The University and the Cloud: a health warning is licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.