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Embedding technology in higher education: the challenges of policy and practice


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My keynote on resilient education at the Edinburgh Napier Staff Development Conference

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Embedding technology in higher education: the challenges of policy and practice

  1. 1. Embedding technology in higher education: the challenges of policy and practice Richard Hall (, @hallymk1) #napcon10
  2. 2. Some context for TEL <ul><li>Resilience: thriving in spite of disruption </li></ul><ul><li>Postdigital: technology as a means </li></ul><ul><li>Personalisation and social learning: some tensions </li></ul><ul><li>Co-governance: towards social justice </li></ul>
  3. 3. Some elephants for TEL <ul><li>The economy </li></ul><ul><li>The environment </li></ul><ul><li>Power and control </li></ul><ul><li>Google vs Microsoft </li></ul><ul><li>Techno-determinism </li></ul>
  4. 4. Resilience: a role for technology Rob Hopkins: Transition Culture “ the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks” Diversity, modularity, feedback
  5. 5. Some strategy, policy, reports (2009) <ul><li>DEMOS Edgeless University Report </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Britain </li></ul><ul><li>JISC Report: Thriving in the 21st century: Learning Literacies for the Digital Age </li></ul><ul><li>Report of an independent Committee of Inquiry into the impact on higher education of students’ widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Revised HEFCE Strategy </li></ul>
  6. 6. Some Policy <ul><li>Higher Ambitions: “Scarcity” closely tied to a prioritisation of STEM research, scientific research, a need for private investment, and the demand to demonstrate “effectiveness” </li></ul><ul><li>HEFCE: “New technology offers ways to deliver courses more imaginatively and flexibly” </li></ul><ul><li>David Lammy: the “challenge… is to develop pedagogy” </li></ul>
  7. 7. A student view “ A real focus on trying to get a sense of academic community back into our institutions” “ active participants or effective co-producers of their education [rather than seen in terms of ] heavy, utilitarian language” Aaron Porter , VP HE (NUS), on Higher Ambitions [23/11/09]
  8. 8. Tensions for TEL <ul><li>Institutional: a vision of the University: private or social enterprise? </li></ul><ul><li>Tags: affiliation; complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Individual: a focus on *the learner*. What about staff? </li></ul><ul><li>Tags: inclusive networks; mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Curricula: what about progressive pedagogy? </li></ul><ul><li>Tag: co-creation; co-governance </li></ul>
  9. 9. Institutional: affiliation “ At its most radical, edgelessness can lead to institutions exploring new ways of accrediting learning, of providing recognition of research and learning and of offering affiliation. Those in informal learning can be offered help in finding routes to formal qualification, connecting with alternative providers or alternative open learning resources and of finding new forms of course provision.” DEMOS, Edgeless University , p. 10
  10. 12. Individual: inclusive networks <ul><li>Beyond current horizons : complexity; flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>EYFS : a situated focus on the whole child </li></ul><ul><li>The Committee of Inquiry : power [see p.9] </li></ul>
  11. 13. Ravensbourne, 2008 Hall , 2009; after Ravensbourne, 2008
  12. 14. Individual: towards post-digital relationships Illich : the questions individuals are empowered to ask coupled to the socio-technical tools available to them, supports personal emancipation A pluralism of limited tools and of convivial commonweals would of necessity encourage a diversity of life styles
  13. 15. Towards post-digital relationships LLiDA report (2009) there is a tension between recognising an ‘entitlement’ to basic digital literacy, and recognising technology practice as diverse and constitutive of personal identity, including identity in different peer, subject and workplace communities, and individual styles of participation Literacies emerge through authentic, well-designed tasks in meaningful contexts
  14. 16. Source, TallBlog:
  15. 17. Curriculum: towards co-governance? <ul><li>Reclaiming innovation within traditional, safe paradigms </li></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to develop a curriculum modelled upon personal integration and social enquiry? </li></ul><ul><li>What do we know about the specific strategies that are deployed by learners using social software? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we risk promoting ‘digital dissonance’? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there sources of frustration, lack of skills and lack of opportunity for some? </li></ul><ul><li>[See: JCAL ; Futurelab (2009)] </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>SHEFC effective institutions </li></ul><ul><li>Napier MLE evaluation: outcomes and anxieties are normal for this transitional space </li></ul><ul><li>“ Too much of our approach seem, at least from my perspective, to be based on the capabilities of the technology, rather than the requirements of teaching [or learning]” p. 68 </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating; sharing; networking; interacting p. 74 </li></ul>Curriculum: towards co-governance?
  17. 19. <ul><li>Enhancing a mixed techno-economy </li></ul><ul><li>But - it's the curriculum stupid </li></ul><ul><li>Managing a disconnect between student expectations and staff innovation </li></ul><ul><li>PLEs and mobiles rock, apparently </li></ul><ul><li>Reward, recognition and professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>We ignore support staff at our peril </li></ul>Curriculum: DMU review headlines
  18. 20. Some DMU examples <ul><li>Game Art Design: mentoring and co-creation </li></ul><ul><li>Learning logs in History: integration of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Peer-mentoring: story-telling </li></ul><ul><li>UCPD [WBL] for Placement students in PCS </li></ul>
  19. 21. Towards a curriculum for resilience? <ul><li>Complexity and increasing uncertainty in the world demands resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated and social, rather than a subject-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging with uncertainty through projects that involve diverse voices in civil action </li></ul><ul><li>Discourses of power – co-governance? </li></ul><ul><li>Authentic partnerships, mentoring and enquiry </li></ul>
  20. 22. <ul><li>Much of our curriculum design and delivery discourse is about personalisation in an always-on world. </li></ul><ul><li>Does the HE curriculum in the 21st century need to address scarcity, alongside the possibility that the always-on access to services, networks and technologies that it promises is not viable? </li></ul><ul><li>Are we helping our learners to exist in authentic, social spaces where switches may be turned off? </li></ul>Resilience: a final set of caveats
  21. 23. Licensing This presentation is licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales license See: